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Second suspect dies after weekend shootout north of Lincoln

Second suspect dies after weekend shootout north of Lincoln

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The second suspect in a shootout with law enforcement Saturday north of Lincoln has died of his injuries.

Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner said 26-year-old Christian Alexander of Evansville, Wyoming, died at a Lincoln hospital Tuesday at around 3:30 p.m.

He previously had identified the woman killed in the shooting at 9:30 a.m. under the Interstate 80 overpass at the 56th Street exit as 30-year-old Hailey Stainbrook of Casper, Wyoming. Wagner said they were a couple, according to family. 

"In consultation with the Lancaster County Attorney, our preliminary investigation has determined the officers were legally justified in using deadly force against both suspects," he said at a press conference Wednesday. 

Wagner said investigators reviewed video evidence from the in-car cameras and body-worn cameras and the businesses where the two suspects had gone. 

He said Alexander was shot first after pointing a gun at a Nebraska State Patrol trooper chasing him, then at two troopers and a Lincoln Police officer, identified by acting Police Chief Brian Jackson as Jesse Hilger, after the stolen SUV came to a rest.

After that, they negotiated for about 7 minutes with Stainbrook to drop the weapon she had so officers could provide aid to Alexander. When she refused and pointed her weapon at officers, she was shot by one of the State Patrol troopers. 

Stainbrook and Alexander both were taken to a Lincoln hospital, where they died.

Hailey Stainbrook

Hailey Stainbrook

Wagner said they're still doing round counts from the firearms of the officers involved and matching that up with bullets and shell casings they found to determine how many total shots were fired.

He said they're also doing ballistic and forensic testing to determine which of the suspects fired a .38-caliber revolver recovered from the SUV. The gun was found loaded with a spent round in it, along with a .177-caliber pellet pistol, a Sig Sauer lookalike.

The revolver had been left in a Chevy Trailblazer the two allegedly stole Thursday morning after it was left warming up in a hotel parking lot in Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

At 9:16 a.m., the man learned that his credit card was being used at a north Lincoln business, then at 9:30 a.m. at a nearby gas station, where a state trooper saw and tried to stop them and the chase began.

It ended when a trooper and the Trailblazer collided underneath the I-80 overpass on 56th Street.

Wagner said video footage showed people driving around the suspect's SUV along 56th Street.

"We are very fortunate that no innocent bystanders were injured or hit," he said. "It's a busy intersection. It's a busy highway."

He said the incident was a culmination of several days of criminal activity from Stainbrook and Alexander.

"There was a very real threat to public safety with their continued driving and robbing people," Wagner said.

State Patrol Col. John Bolduc said Wednesday that the injured trooper continues to recover and may require additional treatment.

Shooting 2.20

Multiple law enforcement agencies were on the scene of a shootout near the 56th Street and Interstate 80 interchange Feb. 20 morning. 

All of the officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave, per the departments' policies. In a press release, Bolduc declined to name the two troopers involved, citing a "long-standing policy of not releasing the identifies of officers during internal investigations."

"Any loss of life is tragic," he said. 

He said their thoughts are with the families of Stainbrook and Alexander as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.

A grand jury will be convened to review their deaths. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger

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