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The Brainard man who fired multiple times at Nebraska State Patrol vehicles before he was shot and killed Friday evening following a police pursuit had served time in prison for assaulting an officer in 2010.

Nathan Brokaw, 28, died after exchanging gunfire with State Patrol troopers following a police pursuit that ended north of Bee in Seward County, patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins said.

No officers were injured. Nebraska law requires a grand jury be convened anytime someone dies while in custody or in the process of apprehension.

The pursuit began at about 7 p.m. Friday in an alley behind a residence in the 300 block of East Seventh Street in Stromsburg. State Patrol investigators were conducting surveillance on Brokaw and another man, 31-year-old Joseph J. Pritchard of Stromsburg, who were both wanted on felony warrants, Collins said.

When investigators approached the men sitting in a parked car, the vehicle sped away, accelerating through the yard of the residence as Pritchard was thrown from the passenger side door, Collins said.

Two State Patrol units were primarily involved in a pursuit of Brokaw which ensued on county roads in Polk, Butler and Seward counties. It ended when State Patrol units rammed the suspect's vehicle along County Road 252 near West Agnew Road shortly after 8 p.m.

Once the vehicle stopped, Brokaw fired multiple rounds at troopers, Collins said. Troopers, who returned fire, killed him.

Approximately eight to 10 State Patrol units responded to the scene, Collins said.

Brokaw was wanted on charges in Platte and Colfax counties of terroristic threats and witness tampering.

Two arrest warrants were issued May 3 for Brokaw, who failed to appear for a hearing to revoke his bonds in connection with a child abuse case and a confrontation outside a bar.

Platte County District Court Judge Robert Steinke issued the arrest warrants immediately after granting prosecution motions to revoke Brokaw’s bonds in separate incidents that occurred Dec. 26 and Oct. 5 of last year.

Brokaw is accused of violating the terms of his release less than a week after his release from jail April 25.

“I don’t know where he’s at, your honor,’’ said defense attorney John Kohl of Omaha when asked by Steinke of Brokaw’s whereabouts. “I had three conversations with the defendant, and he was more than aware of this hearing on the motions to revoke.”

Brokaw previously had served jail time for possession of methamphetamine, attempted burglary, theft by unlawful taking (he had to pay back more than $10,000), possession of cocaine and two counts of third-degree assault of an officer, all of which are felonies.

On June 18, 2010, Columbus police responded to a disturbing the peace complaint at an apartment complex on 47th Avenue. When officers knocked on the apartment door, Brokaw answered and then tried to slam the door in the officers’ faces, according to an affidavit written by Officer Charles Case Jr.

The officers forced the door open and Brokaw tried to run from police, hiding in the bathroom of the apartment. An officer got Brokaw out of the bathroom and Brokaw then tried to run for the front door, charging into the other officer as he tried to escape.

According to the affidavit, Brokaw continued to resist officers’ attempts to handcuff him for several minutes and the officers had to call for backup in order to restrain Brokaw. The affidavit said officers were injured during the struggle.

Pritchard, meanwhile, was wanted for absconding parole. He was treated for minor injuries and was taken to the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center in Lincoln.

Pritchard had been serving time for felony marijuana possession with intent to deliver.

The State Patrol, along with the Seward County Attorney and Seward County Sheriff's Office, is investigating. An autopsy will be conducted.

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The Columbus Telegram contributed to this report.


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