Sarpy County authorities: Shooting report a false alarm

Tense moments Tuesday morning in a Papillion neighborhood turned out to be a misunderstanding.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 4:54 PM CDT
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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - Some tense moments Tuesday morning in a Papillion neighborhood after officers responded to a shots fired call.

It happened just after 8 a.m. in Papillion’s Eagle Ridge subdivision. Papillion and La Vista police officers, along with Sarpy County deputies and the SWAT team, quickly swarmed the scene.

“A neighbor in the area saw a vehicle pull into a residence, and then shortly after a male party entered the residence, he heard what he thought was four shots fired,” said Papillion Police Lt. Jerry Prazan.

Police were able to contact the person inside, who willfully exited the home. Police then searched the house, but never found any evidence of a shooting or guns.

“We believe it was a mistaken identity type thing,” Prazan said. “It may have been construction noise in the area mistaken for gunfire.”

In this case the incident was no big deal -- but it did give law enforcement some real-time training that could later prove valuable.

“We treat everything as if it’s a serious incident until we learn otherwise, but it all worked out in this situation,” Prazan said.

Because several different agencies are called in for potentially serious incidents, it’s important that they get the opportunity to work as a team when it really counts.

“We have a combined SWAT team (in Sarpy County), so we’ll use whatever resources are on duty at the time to get the situation taken care of,” Prazan said.

Officers also immediately called for a lockout at Rumsey Station Elementary just a block away, while they determined any potential dangers.

“If we have somebody run from a scene and there’s a school near, that might be a place where they want to go into,” Prazan said. “We try to get that done as soon as we can.”

The original caller thought he had heard gunfire in this quiet neighborhood and called it in. Prazan said it was the right thing to do.

“We never discourage people from reporting,” he said. “We would rather they report and have it turn out this way than have it not reported and then become more serious than it needed to be.”

No one was hurt, and no arrests were made.