A Kansas fugitive shot at law enforcement officers at four locations during a pursuit at speeds up to 115 mph in southeast Nebraska while his wife reloaded his pistol.
One sheriff's deputy suffered a grazing ricochet wound before the Wednesday night chase across about 24 miles of Johnson County ended with the fugitive's arrest in a farm field near tiny St. Mary, Neb. The village is about 70 miles south of Omaha.
Michael Engstrom, 33, and his wife, Jaime Engstrom, 34, were jailed in Tecumseh on allegations ranging from child abuse to attempted second-degree murder, according to the Johnson County Attorney's Office.
Johnson County Deputy Steven Bures was treated at a hospital for his wound and released.
Michael Engstrom is a suspect in a shooting that left a man dead and a woman injured earlier Wednesday in Topeka, Kan.
The Nebraska episode started after a robbery at the Casey's General Store in Pawnee City. A man with a gun fled in a white Ford Focus with no license plates shortly before 7:30 p.m., authorities said.
Pawnee City is about 100 miles north of Topeka, eight miles north of the Kansas border.
Here's what happened next, according to law enforcement officials and court documents:
Bures, the Johnson County deputy, was dispatched toward Pawnee County to watch for the getaway car. Parked on Nebraska Highway 50 near Elk Creek, Bures saw a Nebraska State Patrol vehicle follow two cars east on Nebraska Highway 62. The vehicles were a dark Pontiac sedan and a white Focus.
The trooper, whom authorities did not identify, reported that the driver of the Focus shot at him as he turned around on the highway to pursue the car. He requested help in stopping the two vehicles. Bures joined in.
The trooper stopped both cars near the village of Elk Creek. Bures pulled up. As he got out of his vehicle the driver of the Focus reached out of his window and started shooting at the deputy and trooper. Bures felt something hit his thigh.
The officers fired back.
The Focus drove away and the officers pulled an unidentified female driver out of the Pontiac before learning she was not involved in the Pawnee City robbery.
The officers and other state troopers drove around the area looking for the Focus.
A state trooper spotted the car north of Elk Creek and was fired upon. The trooper followed the car north on a county road past Long Branch Reservoir No. 2 and then west toward Nebraska Highway 41, where gunfire disabled the trooper's cruiser.
Johnson County Sheriff Scott Walton and Chief Deputy Nick Georgi were waiting at the highway and picked up the pursuit in their vehicles. Speeds hit 100 to 115 mph.
Georgi pursued the Focus into St. Mary, where a tire on his car went flat. Walton picked up Georgi and the two officers pursued the Focus into a field on the west side of the village.
The Focus got stuck in mud. Engstrom stepped out of the car, kneeled near his door and shot at the officers. The bullets landed about 20 feet short and kicked up mud.
Walton went for cover behind his vehicle. Georgi fired eight shots toward Engstrom.
Engstrom turned toward his car, turned back toward the officers and surrendered with his hands above his head.
Jaime Engstrom and her 14-year-old daughter were taken out of the car and into custody. None of the three was injured in the gunfight.
Officers recovered an empty pistol on the floor of the driver's seat. They found a black ski mask, black gloves, two pistol holders on Engstrom. A pistol magazine was found in Jaime's coat pocket.
The teenage girl told officers that she “was very scared and thought she was going to die,” Georgi wrote in an affidavit. She was taken into protective custody by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Georgi wrote that Michael said Jaime was loading his pistol magazines for him while he was driving and shooting at deputies and troopers.
Two State Patrol vehicles were damaged by gunfire.
Michael Engstrom was convicted of a felony in Oklahoma in 2004. He was arrested in January for on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm. That case is pending in Kansas.
Michael Engstrom was booked in Nebraska on suspicion of attempted second-degree murder, flight to avoid arrest, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony and child abuse.
His wife was booked on suspicion of aiding and abetting in attempted second-degree murder, aiding and abetting in flight to avoid arrest and child abuse. She also was sought by Topeka authorities in connection with the shootings there.
Johnson County Attorney Julie D. Smith expected the couple to go before a judge next week to have their bail set. A separate bail would be set in Pawnee County for charges they could face in connection with the alleged convenience store robbery.
Both Engstroms are unemployed, according to authorities.
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