The armed man involved in a domestic disturbance who was later shot and killed in Schuyler, Nebraska Friday morning has been identified as 32-year-old Jason Van Buskirk of Columbus.
A Nebraska State Patrol trooper, called to a home on East 3rd Street in Columbus to assist with the investigation, spotted the suspect's pickup near Southeast 36th Street around 1:30 a.m. After stopping the truck, Van Buskirk opened fire as the trooper approached. The trooper returned fire and the pickup sped away. A chase ended after about 10 minutes when the trooper lost sight of the pickup as it headed northbound on a county road.
The NSP helicopter, additional troopers and local law enforcement responded to the area. Just before 3 a.m., the truck was spotted by a trooper on Highway 30 on the east edge of Columbus. The trooper attempted to pull it over, but it took off eastbound. The helicopter followed from the air, directing officers on the ground as the truck traveled county roads north and east into Colfax County. The pickup ran over two sets of spike strips before coming to a stop on Old Highway 30 on the west side of Schuyler.
Colfax County Deputy Attorney Leslie Buhl said, "Additional officers responded to the scene and were stopped behind the pick-up. That's when the driver put the vehicle in reverse and crashed into two other law enforcement vehicles. At that time, officers opened fire, and the suspect was pronounced dead on scene this morning."
No officers were hit by gunfire. A Schuyler police officer struck by flying glass was treated at the hospital and released. “This was a very dangerous situation,” said Nebraska State Patrol Superintendent Col. David Sankey. “We had an individual who was intent on causing harm and through the efforts of these dedicated law enforcement officers we were able to prevent him from taking any innocent lives.”
An autopsy will be conducted. Nebraska law requires a grand jury be convened anytime someone dies while in custody or in the process of being arrested.