Neb. police fatally shoot man after 8-hour stand-off

Kristin Zagurski, Staff Writer
Omaha World-Herald

Nebraska State Patrol SWAT team members shot and killed a rural Lodgepole, Neb., man who shot at them Tuesday night after an eight-hour standoff.

No SWAT team members were injured.

The Cheyenne County Sheriff's Office asked for the State Patrol's help about 9:50 a.m. Tuesday after Ralph Bond, 63, threatened the sheriff and a deputy with a gun, said State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins.

The officials had gone to Bond's home to check on the welfare of his 24-year-old daughter, Robin, who has Down syndrome.

Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub said statements the daughter made to a bus driver for the Office of Human Development, of which she was a client, led the driver to make a report to her boss. The driver and supervisor then contacted authorities.

The sheriff talked to Bond by cell phone before he went to the house, Schaub said.

When the sheriff and deputy got to the house, about four miles north of Lodgepole, they heard a loud noise that sounded like someone jumping onto a landing from above, Schaub said. The barrel of a shotgun appeared in the window and was whipping around, he said.

The two heard a voice say, "Get off my property," Schaub said.

Schaub assisted the sheriff in obtaining arrest and search warrants Tuesday through the Cheyenne County Court.

Court records show the authorities sought to arrest Bond on suspicion of making terroristic threats. State court records show Bond had no criminal history.

Collins said a Scottsbluffbased State Patrol SWAT team surrounded Bond's home about noon. Officers began speaking to Bond via telephone.

Bond's comments led officers to believe his daughter might be dead, she said.

Collins gave this account of what happened next:

In the early evening, the SWAT team determined that two people -- believed to be Bond and the daughter -- were walking around in the home.

Phone conversations with Bond ended when it got dark.

SWAT members tossed a "throw phone" into a window about 7 p.m. in an attempt to talk with Bond.

They then heard shots from the home.

Just before 8 p.m., Bond opened the front door. He was armed with two guns and fired at the SWAT team.

Team members returned fire and killed Bond.

An autopsy was being conducted today.

Bond's daughter was uninjured but was admitted to a Sidney, Neb., hospital for observation.

Schaub said he thinks Bond and his daughter were the only ones living in the home.

Collins said a special prosecutor will investigate the case.

State law requires a grand jury investigation when someone dies in police custody or while being arrested.

Copyright 2006 The Omaha World-Herald Company

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