Tuesday's Updates of the situation in Alliance (Updated - 11:51 p.m.)
By: John Thayer Posted at: 06/12/2012 11:01 AM Update (11:51 p.m.) - KCOW in Alliance is reporting that City Manager J.D. Cox has confirmed that the ordeal is over in downtown Alliance. The fire department is leaving downtown Alliance.
Update (11:35 p.m.) - Two SWAT members have left the building. SWAT team has backed off and guns are no longer drawn. The situation appears to be over.
Update (11:24 p.m.) - KCOW in Alliance is reporting four members of the SWAT team have entered the building. Several rounds of gun fire. It is unknown at this time if the suspect is alive or dead
Update (11:53 p.m.) - The Nebraska State Patrol has just issued the following statement regarding the situation in Alliance. The standoff continues into the 14th hour.
(Alliance, Neb.)- As of 9:00 p.m., (MDT), the Nebraska State Patrol continues negotiations with an armed suspect inside an Alliance pharmacy.
The incident began just before 9:00 a.m., (MDT), Tuesday, June 12, when an armed male suspect walked into the Thiele Pharmacy, in the 300 block of Box Butte Avenue, downtown Alliance. Officers with the Alliance Police Department responded to a 911 call reporting an armed man entering the building.
During the initial response, Alliance Police Officer Kirk Felker, 43, was wounded in an exchange of gunfire. Felker, a 15-year veteran of the Alliance Police Department is being treated for his injuries at the Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance. His injuries are non-life threatening.
The Nebraska State Patrol responded to the scene just after 9:00 a.m., where NSP resources began assisting the local authorities with perimeter set up and clearing nearby buildings.
Just after 10:30 a.m., (MDT), a trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol SWAT team was wounded when gunfire was exchanged through a door into an adjacent building. Trooper Tim Flick, 37, a 15-year veteran of the agency suffered gunshot wounds to the left side of his body, and is currently in serious but stable condition at the Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance. A second Alliance Police Officer suffered a shrapnel wound at the time Trooper Flick was shot. Officer Matt Shannon, 35, a five year veteran of the Alliance Police Department was treated and released from the Box Butte General Hospital.
The Nebraska State Patrol was able to establish phone contact with the suspect inside the pharmacy and negotiations began.
At approximately 4:30 p.m., (MDT), the lone hostage escaped from the building. During his escape the hostage was wounded and transported to the Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance. The name of the hostage and the extent of his injuries are not being released at this time.
The business district of downtown Alliance remains cordoned off and residents are urged to avoid the area.
The Nebraska State Patrol is being assisted by law enforcement officers from the Alliance, Scottsbluff and Chadron Police Department, and the Box Butte County Sheriff’s Office. Assistance is also being provided by the Alliance Volunteer Fire Department, Nebraska Department of Roads and the Alliance Street Department.
Further updates will be provided as developments continue to unfold.
Update (10:25) - The suspect is still inside the pharmacy. Police negotiators continue working to resolve the situation.
Update (7:00) - The State Patrol is not releasing the suspect's name because officers aren't sure yet who he is.
Update (6:55) - Hostage escaped on his own and was wounded. His condition is unknown at this time.
Update (6:54) - Trooper Tim Flick's injuries "do not appear to be life-threatening"
Update (6:51) - Alliance Police Chief John Kiss says the two injured officers were Matt Shannon, 35, and Kirk Felker, 43. Shannon was treated and released. Felker was treated and is recovering at Box Butte General Hospital
Update (6:49) - Nebraska State Patrol Lt. Lance Rogers says the situation is "still very volatile" and negotiators are still working to get the gunman out of the pharmacy.
Update (6:36 p.m.) - press conference time has changed to 6:45 p.m.
Update (6:17 p.m.) - The City of Alliance has announced a press conference scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center
Update (5:21) - It has been confirmed that the hostage, Chas Lierk, is out of the Pharmacy.
Update (5:10 p.m.) - We have received a report that the hostage in Alliance has got out of the building and has been transported to BBGH. He is expected to be okay. When asked to confirm the Alliance PD said they do not have information to release at this time.
Update (4:00 p.m.) - A press release from the City of Alliance says the standoff at Thiele Pharmacy and Gifts continues. There will be a press conference later this evening. No time has been announced.
Update (3:41 p.m.) - The city of Alliance has issued a press release with confirmation of a second shooting at a separate location that resulted in a homicide. We are expecting another release at the top of the hour.
Update (2:55 p.m.) - A second Alliance police officer sustained injuries in the incident today. None of the three officers shot are believed to have life-threatening injuries.
Update (2:40 p.m.) - REPORT: Body found at a local mobile home, believed to be in connection with the situation downtown
Update (2:36 p.m.) - Box Butte General Hospital and the Alliance Police Department say they have no information to release at this time. According to a witness the group in the jewelry store across the street was taken home by police.
Update (1:49 p.m.) - KCSR has confirmed that Trooper Tim Flick is the member of the Nebraska State Patrol SWAT that was shot today in Alliance. We are awaiting information on his condition.
Update (1:26) - According to a report the hostage is Chas Leirk, a pharmacist at Thiele's.
Update (1:23) - A hostage negotiator is in contact with the gunman. We are awaiting a call from Box Butte General Hospital with conditions of the two officers who were shot in the incident.
Update (1:00 p.m.) - The Alliance Times-Herald is reporting that a second officer has been shot in the incident. The officer is a member of the Nebraska State Patrol S.W.A.T. and was transported to Box Butte General Hospital. Information on the officers condition is not available at this time. The officer was reportedly trying to get into position when shot.
Update (11:48 a.m.): We have spoken with Mike Glesinger at KCOW in Alliance and he has confirmed that the hostage situation is still going. Box Butte General Hospital is on lockdown at this time, except for emergency situations. All schools are on lockdown. The post office and courthouse are also on lockdown. All classes at Western Nebraska Community College in Alliance have been cancelled for the day as well. You can hear Mike's report on our newscast at 12:00 p.m.
ALLIANCE - A robbery attempt at Thiele's Pharmacy and Gifts this morning has left an officer shot, while the gunman has one hostage.
According to reports the incident began just before 9:00 this morning. One officer was shot in the arm and was transported to Box Butte Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The S.W.A.T. team has arrived on scene.
The downtown has been blocked off in Alliance and businesses have locked their doors. Parents are currently being allowed to pick up students at summer school classes at Grandview Elementary, but the office needs to be notified ahead of time. Students in summer school at Alliance High School and Alliance Middle School are not being released.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.