(Neb.)-Law Enforcement Honored For Role In Alliance Standoff
Pictured left to right: Alliance Police Officer Kirk Felker, Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Jeffery Van Stelton, Alliance Police Officer Matt Shannon, Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Timothy Flick
(Alliance)-Three Panhandle law enforcement officers, a Nebraska State Patrol trooper and two members of the Alliance Police Department wounded in this summer's armed standoff in Alliance were honored Monday at the Nebraska State Fair. Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Timothy Flick and Alliance police officers Kirk Felker and Matt Shannon were presented with the "First Responder Citation" Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).
KCOW in Alliance reports that 43-year old Felker was the first officer on the scene June 12th when 27-year old Andres "Andy" Gonzales of Alliance tried to leave Thieles Pharmacy and Gifts following an aborted armed robbery. Gonzales wounded Felker and retreated back inside the store, starting a 14-hour standoff that ended with his death.
Trooper Flick, a 15-year veteran of the NSP Troop E in Scottsbluff, was wounded by Gonzales later in the standoff while setting up a position as a member of the NSP SWAT team. The 35-year old Shannon was struck by shrapnel in the same incident as Flick. He was treated at Box Butte General Hospital and released the same day, but Flick and Felker each spent multiple days in the hospital.
Also given the First Responder Citation during the ceremony at the State Fair was another NSP trooper, Jeffrey Van Stelton, who was seriously injured in a fiery crash with an unlicensed driver in Hitchcock while responding to a call. State Patrol Superintendent Colonel David Sankey says the "actions and courage demonstrated by these officers under stressful situations is something we can all be thankful for." Sankey also says that the types of incidents for which the four were recognized "highlight the importance of training for all types of situations."
The awards were presented by James Doyen, First Responder Adjutant for the Military Order of the Purple Heart's Chapter #632, in Hastings. Doyen says the "First Responder Citation" was started as a way to convey the respect and appreciation for the sacrifices of law enforcement, firefighters, and other first responders.
(Story courtesy of KCOW, Alliance)
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