A 38-year-old man who was shot Tuesday by a Nebraska state trooper had been served with divorce papers and was due in court today because his wife had requested a protection order, according to court records.
Aaron D. White of Plainview, Neb., tried to take his children out of Zion Lutheran School in Plainview but was turned away by school officials.
He later was shot by a trooper after a series of events including threatening to harm himself and others at a convenience store, setting fire to his semitrailer truck and ramming a tractor into a cruiser.
White was recovering from the gunshot wound that authorities said was not life-threatening.
The incident began about 11 a.m., when Pierce County authorities were called to the school on a report of a man trying to remove his children from the school, said State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins.
The man told school officials that he hadn't seen his daughters in a while, said head teacher Clee Wolske. White “was distraught,” Wolske said.
“He was not thinking clearly and we could see that, so we called the police. But at no time did he in any way say that he was going to harm anyone.”
Collins said troopers don't believe the incident was a threat against the school.
A check of Nebraska court records shows that a hearing on the protection order was scheduled for today in Antelope County.
White's wife alleged that he had called her more than 50 times a day in recent weeks.
She said the phone calls were “a rant of insults, accusations, demands and pleas,” according to the protection order request. She said he told her he had placed a GPS device on her car and had photographs of her taken in various places.
Zion Lutheran, which has 42 students, implemented its new lockdown policy for the first time as the situation with White escalated.
School officials had decided to put new safety procedures in place after Friday's shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
During the incident with White, teachers went into their classrooms and locked the doors.
“We had no idea we'd have to implement it so soon,” Wolske said.
Pierce County sheriff's deputies soon reached out to the State Patrol for help.
Meanwhile, White left the school and drove his semitrailer truck to a convenience store in Plainview.
Once there, he reportedly threatened to harm himself and others before driving to his farm northeast of Brunswick, Neb., and setting fire to his semi.
As it burned, White got behind the wheel of a red tractor and rammed it into buildings, another vehicle and fuel tanks that were on the property, authorities said. He then drove to another farm and drove the tractor into buildings there.
By this time, authorities had caught up with White. He allegedly tried to ram a deputy's car with the tractor before striking a State Patrol cruiser.
Trooper Dain Hicks, 41, fired at White, hitting him in his right side. White surrendered and was flown by helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Collins said White likely would be booked on suspicion of assaulting an officer once he's released from the hospital. He'll be held in the Woodbury County Jail pending extradition to Nebraska.
Brian Detlefsen, 43, the trooper in the cruiser White is accused of ramming, suffered a cut to his head and bruising. He was treated at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha and released, Collins said.
Contact the writer: 402-444-3100, email@example.com