OMAHA, Neb. – Authorities said Saturday a man involved in a domestic dispute with his ex-girlfriend fatally shot her two brothers who had arrived at a west Omaha home with a trailer to help her move out, then held the woman hostage during a standoff with police before releasing her and taking his own life.
The confrontation began Friday morning after the ex-girlfriend of Kenneth Clark, 45, came to his house with her two brothers to collect her belongings, Douglas County Chief Deputy Sheriff Thomas Wheeler said. A call made to 911 to report a shooting sent law enforcement officials to the house.
In a statement Saturday, the sheriff's office said the ex-girlfriend, 42-year-old Julie Edwards, had made prior arrangements with Clark to retrieve her property from his house. She and her brothers, 41-year-old Jason Edwards and 35-year-old John Edwards, went to Clark's house Friday morning with a rented trailer, and police say Clark was at the house when they arrived.
Investigators believe that as the siblings finished loading the trailer, Clark shot both brothers inside the house, and then took Julie Edwards hostage. Officials say a preliminary investigation shows that John Edwards likely made the call to 911 around 10:30 a.m. Friday.
After several hours of negotiations, Clark released Julie Edwards unharmed.
But Wheeler said further attempts to talk Clark into surrendering failed.
"He was all over the map, between sobbing, crying, praying," Wheeler said. "Several times he said he was going to come out, and of course, he never did."
Around 10 p.m., officers fired tear gas into the house. Shortly afterward, officials heard a gunshot and sent a camera-equipped robot into the house. That's when officers discovered Clark dead in an upstairs bedroom from a self-inflicted gunshot.
The bodies of Jason Edwards and John Edwards, both of Papillion, Nebraska, were also found in the house.
State law requires a grand jury investigation into the death of anyone in police custody or in the process of being taken into custody.
Autopsies will be performed Sunday, officials said. A search of online court records did not reveal any criminal charges ever having been brought against Clark in Nebraska.