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Juniata man suspected of shooting trooper shot and killed following standoff
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Juniata man suspected of shooting trooper shot and killed following standoff

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The Nebraska State Patrol has identified the man whom a trooper shot and killed early Wednesday following an overnight standoff in Adams County. 

State patrol Capt. Jeff Roby said Brooks Hacker, 35, was pronounced dead at the scene after a member of the patrol's SWAT team fired one shot at the man as he left a residence in Juniata amid the standoff.

Hacker had shot and wounded a Lincoln-based member of the SWAT team and fired shots into at least three state patrol vehicles in the hours before he was shot, according to the patrol. The wounded trooper, who remains unidentified, was treated for non-life-threatening injures at Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings and has been released, Roby said. 

Hacker had been shooting a gun outside a residence near Fifth Street and North Brass Avenue in Juniata shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, Roby said. A woman called 911 and reported Hacker, who she said was intoxicated, had been verbally and then physically aggressive toward her before firing a handgun toward her, according to the patrol. 

The woman was able to hide and call police, Roby said. He said the nature of the initial dispute remains unclear. 

Shortly after troopers and Adams County sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene Tuesday night, she was able to escape the residence where the altercation with Hacker had started 30 minutes prior, according to the patrol.

The man began firing from the house and struck several law enforcement vehicles, Roby said, and a shelter-in-place order was issued in Juniata, a town of about 800 people located about seven minutes west of Hastings.

After several hours of negotiations, during which Hacker fired "dozens of gunshots," Roby said, the man briefly exited the residence and shot the Lincoln-based trooper in the arm at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. 

"(Negotiators) were in contact with this subject several times during the night," Roby said. "And as it progressed, some of that contact started to become slower and slower."

An hour after the trooper was shot, authorities employed tear gas and Hacker left the residence, still holding a gun, according to the patrol. That's when the SWAT team member shot him. Roby said troopers attempted to render aid to Hacker, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Roby said Hacker had recently moved to Juniata from the Omaha area.

It's unclear if Hacker was pointing the gun toward officers when he was shot. 

In Nebraska, a grand jury is convened to review all officer-involved shooting deaths. The trooper who fired at Hacker has been placed on administrative leave.

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

On Twitter @andrewwegley. 

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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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