Standoff in Kearney ends with death of suspect in shootings

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — A standoff in Kearney with a man suspected of shooting two women in rural Elm Creek ended after several hours when the man shot himself, police in the south-central Nebraska community said.

Jeffrey Smith, 33, of Kearney, barricaded himself inside a Kearney apartment and held police at bay for several hours Monday before the standoff ended shortly before 4 p.m. when Smith shot himself, Kearney police said.

Police and Buffalo County Sheriff’s officials said Smith was suspected of breaking into a rural Elm Creek home early Monday and shooting his ex-girlfriend and her mother in the presence of several children.

None of the children in the home were physically hurt, officials said.

Kearney police Lt. Kevin Thompson identified the victims as Amber Schade, 35, and her mother, Lena Rouse, 63. They were taken to a Kearney hospital before being transported to another hospital later Monday. Officials have not released their medical conditions.

Police had attempted for hours to negotiate Smith’s surrender, officials said, before using tear gas to try to force him out. During negotiations, an officer reported hearing a gunshot inside the the apartment, and police sent in a camera-equipped tactical robot, where Smith was found dead.

No officers fired their guns during the standoff, police said.

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