“It’s been higher in the first few months, to put it in perspective we had 5 total barricaded subject calls last year in 2015 and we have had 5 so far in 2016,” said Lieutenant Jay Leavitt with the Omaha Emergency Response Unit, that includes SWAT, bomb squad…and the crisis negotiators who respond to these incidents.
They have responded to all five standoffs this year. The first one happened on January 22nd when Mark L'heureux held police at bay for more than 24 hours near 83rd and Keystone.
Omaha police K-9 Kobus was the first K-9 to ever be killed in the line of duty.
L'heureux died in custody a week later.
The next one was on January 28th at 68th and Grover, it ended when police shot and killed William Adams after he raised a gun at them.
February 10th, Dwight Rodgers walks into the Parliament Pub near 168th and center and started shooting. A couple hours later he surrenders to police at his apartment nearby.
Two days later, Kenneth Cole shoots and kills John and Jason Edwards at his home near 140th and Blondo, before taking his own life after a 12 hour standoff.
Wednesday night, Richard Marsh held police at bay for more than four hours near 57th and Grover. Marsh is in the hospital tonight recovering from a self inflicted gunshot wound.
Leavitt says the ERU goes through regular training to make sure they are ready for any type of situation.
“We train on various scenarios, what we have seen in the past and what we see going on in the country, we train for every possible contingency you can imagine.”
Leavitt said the standoffs this year don't seem to be connected, “there is nothing that I see linking any of them to a trend, we have had mental health issues to domestic violence situations in a couple of them, there doesn't seem to be any specific trend of what's causing these people to have these events so there is no concern or indication this will be an ongoing issue.”