Suspect shot in Nebraska church during Sunday Mass
RUSHVILLE, Neb. — Sunday Mass in a Rushville, Nebraska church quickly turned into a terrifying situation as officers shot a suspect entering the church.
Rushville is a town of just under 900 people just a few miles south of Pine Ridge, S.D. At 10:20 a.m. Sheridan County Sheriff deputies responded to reports of an assault at a home, where the victim had suffered a broken arm. Deputies immediately began searching for the suspect.
Shortly after 11 a.m. a deputy saw the suspect entering Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. The suspect, later identified as 32 year-old Clarence Leading Fighter, was just entering the church when the officer shot him.
The officer shot the suspect in order to “protect himself and parishioners from potential serious harm,” according to the Nebraska State Patrol’s initial investigation. Leading Fighter later died from his injuries.
The church’s pastor and congregation took cover as soon as they heard the commotion, ending the 10:30 Mass. The church hopes to open the building in time for Holy Thursday.
Nebraska State Patrol has taken over investigation of the shooting. State law dictates that a grand jury will convene to look into a case where a suspect dies while being apprehended or while in custody.