They gave him until 10 o'clock.
Law enforcement negotiators had spent 11 hours Friday cajoling homicide suspect Kenneth Clark to come out of his west Omaha house.
The 45-year-old man sobbed through his cellphone. He prayed. But he would not leave.
Just after the deadline, deputies fired tear gas into the house near 140th and Miami Streets. Then, they heard a gunshot.
Within minutes, they would find three bodies. Clark, in an upstairs bedroom, was dead, the authorities said, of a self-inflicted bullet. In the basement and on the first floor were two men whom Clark had also appar ently shot to death.
The pair had come Friday morning to help their sister, Clark's girlfriend, gather her things, Sheriff Tim Dunning said. She was ending the relationship and moving out.
Daylong negotiations that at times seemed fruitful broke down Friday night.
"Several times he said he was going to come out, and of course he never did," said Chief Deputy Tom Wheeler of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
A late-morning 911 call about a shooting had led Omaha-area law enforcement into their fourth standoff with a suspect in three weeks.
Shortly after 11 a.m., Omaha police and Douglas County sheriff's deputies surrounded the house at 2511 N. 140th St. in the Autumn Heights neighborhood.
Throughout the afternoon and evening, officers told people who live near the house to stay inside, lock their doors, stay away from windows and stay in their basements.
Efforts were made throughout the day to negotiate with Clark, who was talking with authorities by phone and had a handgun and a rifle. Clark did not fire at deputies, Wheeler said.
Just after 10 p.m., a series of popping sounds and flashes were seen around the home.
Barbara Moore, a neighbor who lives up the hill, said she was on the phone with Clark's brother during the ordeal. "I asked him if (Clark) had any guns," Moore said. "He said, 'Yeah, he does.' I said, 'You might want to get down here right now.' "
In the early afternoon, a hostage negotiator convinced Clark to release the woman inside, Wheeler said. She was safe Friday but distraught, he said. The suspect remained inside, and authorities continued to negotiate with him, Wheeler said.
In the end, "it came to an impasse. He wasn't going to come out," Wheeler said.
A woman obtained a domestic abuse protection order against Clark in 2004, but a search of Nebraska court records revealed no violent crime convictions.
The area is a thinly populated section of unincorporated west Omaha, with gravel streets and large wooded lots, just north of the bustle of Blondo Street and south of Champions Run country club. The home was lit up by police spotlights Friday night.
The standoff follows three others in the Omaha metro in recent weeks:
Jan. 22: Mark L'Heureux barricaded himself in his home at 83rd Street and Keystone Avenue for 25 hours, firing at deputies and officers before surrendering. A police dog was killed. L'Heureux was found unresponsive in jail and died Feb. 2.
Jan. 29: Officers confronted car-theft suspect William Adams at an apartment at 3712 S. 68th Plaza. He reportedly told Omaha police that he did not want to go back to prison. An officer shot and killed Adams after police say he lowered his gun in the direction of officers.
Feb. 10: Dwight Rodgers is accused of shooting up the Parliament Pub southwest of 168th Street and West Center Road before retreating to a nearby apartment and shooting at police. A negotiator convinced him to surrender, police said. Bail was set at $10 million in court Friday.
"It's just a waiting game. This is (the Sheriff's Office's) third one in three weeks," Dunning said. "Two we got our suspects out alive, and that's the goal."
World-Herald staff writer Chris Bowling contributed to this report.
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