Police in Columbus, Nebraska, have identified the officer and the man who were shot in an exchange of gunfire Thursday night.
Columbus Police Sgt. Brad Wangler and another officer arrived at a house at 3410 16th St. in Columbus regarding an anonymous report that a wanted person was at the house.
In the course of contacting the man, 24-year-old Jorje Robledo, shots were fired, police said. Initially, police said, Robledo was armed with a handgun, but he later grabbed a rifle. Both Wangler and Robledo were shot during the exchange of gunfire and were hit multiple times.
Both Wangler and Robledo initially were taken to the Columbus Community Hospital. Both later were taken by medical helicopter to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
Wangler will require additional surgery relating to a wound in his neck, police said, and Robledo is in critical condition, police said.
Capt. Todd Thalken of the Columbus Police Department said Friday morning that Wangler's condition is stable. "He's going to live through this," Thalken said. Wangler has a tube in his throat because of concerns about swelling because a bullet or a bullet fragment went through his neck, the captain said.
Wangler is a 19-year veteran of the Columbus Police Department. He is married and has two children.
Police department officials thanked the Nebraska State Patrol, Platte County Sheriff's Office and the Omaha Police Department for the support they have offered in the case.
The incident is being jointly investigated by the Columbus Police Department and Nebraska State Patrol, police said.
In a statement, Columbus Mayor Jim Bulkley said, “The citizens of Columbus are praying for the officer and his entire family. This man represents the very best of our community and put his life on the line tonight so that we can live safely in the town we love.”