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Man shot by state trooper in Lincoln dies at hospital
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Man shot by state trooper in Lincoln dies at hospital

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Shooting, 11.25

Police cars and sheriff's office cruisers line G Street on Wednesday afternoon after a report that a man shot at a Nebraska State Patrol trooper during a traffic stop.

The 27-year-old man who was shot by a Nebraska State Patrol trooper in Lincoln on Wednesday died at a local hospital Sunday evening. 

German Pedraza had been shot in the neck at about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday in central Lincoln as the trooper, a narcotics investigator who remains unidentified, was following up on a Crime Stoppers report at 1905 G St. 

As investigators approached Pedraza, who was in the driver's seat of a Chrysler 300 in the parking lot of an apartment building, he attempted to pull out a handgun, according to Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner, who is heading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting. 

Wagner said authorities directed loud verbal commands for Pedraza to drop the weapon and that a struggle ensued over the gun.

Man taken to hospital after being shot by officer Wednesday afternoon in Lincoln

The trooper fired one round toward the 27-year-old, Wagner said. Four days later, that shot proved fatal, the sheriff announced Monday morning. 

"He's not responsive," the trooper told dispatchers moments after Wednesday's shooting, according to archived scanner traffic. 

"We've got one female in custody. He has a handgu — he had a handgun in his hand." 

The trooper who shot Pedraza is on paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.

Wagner told the Journal Star his office won't release the name of the involved trooper, deferring to the State Patrol.

A State Patrol spokesman said the agency's internal investigation into the incident was ongoing, but the patrol's labor contract with the State Law Enforcement Bargaining Council prohibits the agency from releasing the identities of employees involved in internal investigations. 

In the aftermath of the shooting, investigators recovered a loaded pistol from the Chrysler, according to the sheriff's office. 

Task force investigators wear plainclothes and drive unmarked vehicles, though Wagner said members display badges and wear ballistic vests that identify them as law enforcement officers.

Judge tells man who shot into Lincoln homes: 'The safety of the community couldn't be more obvious'

Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon on Sunday ordered an autopsy to officially determine the cause of Pedraza's death. 

The sheriff's office, with the assistance of the Lincoln Police Department, will investigate the shooting and deliver their case to a grand jury, convened every time someone dies as a result of law enforcement action in Nebraska. 

Wagner on Monday said the agencies, hamstrung by the holiday weekend, were still in the early stages of their investigation. Wagner said there was still body and dash cam footage to be reviewed. 

All three agencies collaborate on the Lincoln-Lancaster County Narcotics Task Force -- the unit that responded to the apartment building on Wednesday where the shooting occurred. 

As they investigated the incident, Wagner said his office and LPD crime scene technicians searched Apartment 17 at the complex, where they found various quantities of suspected methamphetamine and marijuana.

Wagner said Pedraza, a Columbus resident, had at least been staying at the Lincoln apartment complex, though it's unclear if he was the official tenant of Apartment 17. 

Pedraza had been arrested in Butler County last month after police say he was passenger in a 14-mile, high-speed chase in the same model car that he was found in on Wednesday, according to an affidavit for his arrest, and was facing seven felony drug and gun charges in Butler County Court.

One injured in southeast Lincoln shooting

The 27-year-old posted $10,000 to be released on bond in October, according to court filings. Pedraza had missed a court hearing two weeks ago in Butler County, where he had an active arrest warrant for failing to appear. 

That warrant was unrelated to the investigation that brought the narcotics task force to 1905 G St. on Wednesday, where Wagner said Pedraza had been waiting for his ex-girlfriend to return some of his belongings. 

Pedraza was in the car alongside a 21-year-old woman, who was taken into custody but later released.

Wagner said the woman described Pedraza as her best friend.  

His death marks the third shooting death this year at the hands of law enforcement officers in Lincoln. A grand jury cleared officers of wrongdoing in an incident initially described as a shootout on the edge of Lincoln that left a Wyoming couple dead in February.

Two state troopers and a Lincoln police officer fired 37 shots toward Hailey Stainbrook and Christian Alexander, who had first pointed a gun at law enforcement. It's unclear if they ever shot toward officers. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or awegley@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @andrewwegley

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Breaking news reporter

A Kansas City, Missouri, native, Andrew Wegley joined the Journal Star as breaking news reporter after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2021.

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