Update: Standoff Over, Suspect Dead

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email
Posted June 13, 2012
A 14-hour standoff with a man who took a hostage in an Alliance pharmacy has come to an end. The Nebraska State Patrol says the suspect died sometime after a short gun battle.

Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins identified the suspect as 27-year-old Andres Gonzalez of Alliance. A check of court records reveals Gonzales has a criminal history. A decade ago he plead guilty to possession or use of drug paraphernalia and obstructing an officer.

The standoff came to a close around 11:30 Tuesday night, when a SWAT team and Gonzalez exchanged gunfire.

An hour later, the SWAT team confirmed the suspect was dead. At this point, it's not clear if his death was connected to the gun fight or if his injuries were self-inflicted.

Nebraska State Patrol investigators have also revealed the identity of the lone hostage. The owner of the pharmacy, 62-year-old Charles Lierk, was shot while escaping his captor.

Responders raced Lierk to Box Butte General Hospital where he is recovering in stable condition.

Posted June 12, 2012 at 3:28pm
State Patrol negotiators continue talking with a suspect who held a hostage for eight hours and injured three officers in a standoff in western Nebraska Tuesday.

Alliance, Nebraska police were called to Thiele Pharmacy & Gifts an attempted robbery. The suspect shot at officers, hitting Kirk Felker, 43. Felker has been an officer in Alliance for 15 years. He remained in the hospital Tuesday night but is expected to be okay.

After the Nebraska State Patrol responded, Trooper Tim Flick, 37 was shot by the suspect inside the pharmacy. He is a 15 year veteran of the State Patrol. Tuesday night he was in "guarded" condition, but is expected to survive.

Alliance Police Officer Matt Shannon, 35, was wounded by shrapnel in the second exchange. Shannon has been with the Alliance Police Department for 5 years. He was treated and released at a nearby hospital.

A hostage managed to escape on his own about 8 hours after the standoff began. The Nebraska State Patrol is not releasing his name until all family has been notified. He is injured, but the extent of his injuries isn't being released.

State Patrol Lt. Lance Rogers emphasized that the scene is still "very volatile" more than 10 hours after it began. The suspect has at least a rifle in the building, but Lt. Rogers says he could have more weapons with him.

An 8 block area of Alliance has been blocked off as negotiators communicate with the suspect. The State Patrol isn't releasing suspect information until the man is in custody.

Nebraska State Patrol investigators are also sorting through a homicide scene in Alliance. They confirm a body was found inside a home, but won't say how that person died. They say it's too early in the investigation to say if it's related to the standoff.

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