Nebraska State Patrol

GRAND ISLAND - The suspect of an officer-involved shooting incident is in custody following a multi-agency search in rural Howard County in the overnight hours of December 31 into January 1.

The incident began in the evening hours of December 31 when the Howard County Sheriff’s Office attempted a traffic stop near the intersection of Dannevirke Road and Page Road north of Elba. The suspect, identified as Luke Lefever, 30, of Broken Bow, then engaged the deputies with a handgun. During the exchange, Lefever was able to gain access to a sheriff’s office vehicle and fled south on Page Road. The suspect also gained access to a shotgun stored in the cruiser. The cruiser spun out and a second exchange of gunfire took place. The suspect then fled on foot. Officers from the St. Paul Police Department were also involved, but did not discharge their weapons. 

At that point, troopers from the Nebraska State Patrol, deputies from the Howard County, Merrick County, Valley County, and Sherman County Sheriff’s Offices, St. Paul and Scotia police officers, and others arrived on scene and set up a perimeter. NSP SWAT was called in and the NSP helicopter was deployed to assist in the search. Using an NSP light armored vehicle (LAV), SWAT began searching the area.

With information gained by the NSP helicopter, SWAT was able to track the suspect into a creek bed east of Page Road. Upon locating the suspect, an NSP K9 was deployed to help take him into custody. The shotgun was found at the scene. Lefever was found with a gunshot wound to his left forearm and was showing signs of hypothermia. He was transported out of the area using the LAV and then transported to the St. Paul hospital for treatment. He was then transported by medical helicopter to St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln.

No officers were injured at any point throughout the incident. At the request of the Howard County Sheriff’s Office, NSP is leading the investigation. A determination of charges is pending and the suspect will be in custody while at the hospital.

Elba Fire and Rescue and St. Paul Rescue also assisted in the incident.

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