Deadly force justified says Nebraska Sheriff, State Patrol says investigation ongoing

Left: Nebraska State Patrol vehicle (Courtesy of the Nebraska State Patrol, Facebook) Right: Hailey Stainbrook and Christian Alexander (Courtesy of the Casper Police Department)

CASPER, Wyo. — Following an announcement from a Nebraska Sheriff calling the use of deadly force against two suspects “justified,” the Nebraska State Patrol says that a trooper injured in the incident is recovering.

In a statement released on Feb. 24; the Lancaster County, Nebraska Sheriff’s Office said the results of a preliminary investigation into the death of two Wyoming suspects, showed that use of deadly force was “justified.”

“In consultation with the Lancaster County Attorney, our preliminary investigation has determined the officers were legally justified in using deadly force against both suspects,” the LCSO said in a statement.

Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, issued a statement following the announcement from LCSO.

“We’d like to thank the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office for their diligent and thorough investigation into Saturday’s incident,” said Colonel Bolduc. “All NSP personnel continue to cooperate fully with that investigation. Above all, we are thankful for the safety of all law enforcement personnel involved, as well as the general public. The trooper who was injured continues to recover, but may require additional treatment for the injuries he sustained when his patrol vehicle was struck by the suspects’ vehicle.”

Evansville man, Christian Alexander, age 26, died Tuesday at a Lincoln hospital, three days after being shot by law enforcement. The shootout Saturday morning in Lincoln, Nebraska also killed 30-year-old Hailey Stainbrook, of Casper. 

The pair were suspected in a robbery at Lincoln hotel approximately 8:30 am Feb. 20.

“We know Stainbrook and the victim of the armed robbery had met Friday evening via a social media app and spent some time together at the victim’s hotel,” LCSO announced on Wednesday.

Nebraska state troopers spotted the suspect vehicle a short time later, and a chase ensued. 

Troopers pursued the suspects attempted one “intervention technique,” which was not successful with the chase continuing. LCSO says another intervention technique was attempted, and was successful.

“At this time Alexander pointed a handgun out of the window at the trooper,” the Wednesday LCSO statement said. “Two NSP troopers and one [Lincoln Police Department] officer were present. The suspect vehicle came to rest in the southbound traffic lanes of N. 56th (U.S. 77) below the I-80 bridge. Alexander pointed the handgun at officers and they fired their weapons. When the threat from Alexander was over, negotiations began with Stainbrook to have her drop the weapon she had so officers could provide First Aid to Alexander. These negotiations lasted approximately 7 minutes which ended when Stainbrook pointed her weapon at officers and a State Trooper fired his weapon. As soon as that threat was over, officers provided first aid to both suspects,”

The Nebraska State Patrol says they have a policy of not releasing the identities of officers during internal investigations.

“As NSP’s internal process continues, and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office continues its work, NSP will not release the names of the two troopers involved in the incident,” the Nebraska State Patrol statement said.

Officials say that in accordance with Nebraska State Statute, a grand jury will also convene to investigate the incident.