Officers closing in on Nebraska fugitive were prepared for shootout

Steven I. Harrod

As they closed in on a man wanted in connection with a shooting in Louisville, Neb., law enforcement officials Sunday were prepared for a gun battle near Goodman, Mo.

Deputy Dan Potter of the U.S. Marshals Service in Nebraska said Tuesday that lawmen had been warned Steven I. Harrod, 64, had vowed not to be taken alive. Instead, Harrod was captured unarmed and without incident about 7:45 p.m. Sunday by a force that included several members of the Missouri State Patrol SWAT team.

“We were told that he had survival gear in the Ozark Mountains nearby and was planning to go up there,” Potter said. “We also had information that he would prefer to fight and die in a suicide by cop rather than surrender.”

After his surrender, Harrod waived extradition and was brought back to Nebraska on Monday to face three felony charges. The Cass County Attorney has charged Harrod with first-degree assault, use of a firearm to commit a felony and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Potter said Harrod was found in a metal storage shed about three miles outside of Goodman. Taking part in the arrest were two deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service in Springfield, Mo., two deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service in Nebraska, two Cass County deputies, two McDonald County deputies and officers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

“An armored vehicle from the state patrol rammed a locked gate on the farm or compound to allow us to get in,” Potter said. “Then Harrod and a man who was staying on the property in an RV came out quietly.”

Deputy Kelly Palmer of the U.S. Marshals Service in Springfield said the other man was not arrested.

“He claimed that he didn't know there was a warrant for Harrod, and Harrod said he didn't tell the man that he was running from the law,” Palmer said.

Palmer said Harrod was living in “about a 30-by-40-foot storage shed that had a dirt floor and bed and couch in one corner. The shed had electricity, but there was no running water or plumbing.

Harrod had shaved his beard and cut his hair short, Palmer said.

In Louisville, Harrod is accused of shooting of 32-year-old Michael A. Green, who lived with woman in Harrod's house at 205 E. Second St. According to an arrest affidavit filed in Cass County, the Jan. 14 shooting followed an argument between Green and Harrod over use of Harrod's 1999 Ford F-250 pickup truck.

Green was taken by helicopter to Creighton Medical Center in Omaha. He is expected to survive.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1272,

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