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Timeline shows tactics used in standoff

Posted at 6:01 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 19:01:34-05

A timeline of events from the standoff that lasted more than 24 hours reveals more information about the strategies used to get the suspect to surrender.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office released the detailed summary of what happened Tuesday, the same day the suspect, Mark L'Heureux appeared before a judge in court.

Officials say the judge ordered L'Heureux to undergo a mental evaluation at the Lincoln Regional Center and set his bond at $1.5 million.

 L'Heureux is accused of shooting and killing a police dog and firing shots at deputies.

The timeline provided reveals some of the tactics used to get him to surrender, including pouring water into the basement and turning off the power in an effort to make him uncomfortable, the Sheriff's Office said..

Below is the entire timeline as it was prepared for distribution:

Friday 22 JAN 16

5:27 PM- Four Warrants Deputies arrive on scene to serve a BMH Order on Mark L’Heureux. Prior to the Deputies arrival, family members advised Deputies by telephone that L’Heureux had weapons, ammunition and fireworks or black powder in the home. L’Heureux refuses to come out of the house.

5:41 PM- DCSO Negotiator arrives

5:49 PM- Event channel set up on law enforcement radios

7:08 PM- DCSO ESU personnel begin to arrive on scene

7:30 PM- ESU takes command of scene

8:44-8:50 PM- Attempts are made to contact L’Heureux by cell phone. Multiple calls are made and multiple voicemails left- No response.

8:25-8:59 PM- Attempts are made to contact L’Heureux by texting.  No response.

9:00 PM- OPD bomb squad arrives with robot.

9:44 PM- OPD attempts to deploy robot in the basement.  Multiple verbal attempts are made from outside open doorways to provide L’Heureux with details to not alarm him of the robot deployment.  An attempt at verbal negotiations was also made. The robot becomes stuck just inside the residence. Three deputies attempt to enter the residence and dislodge the robot. The lead deputy is carrying a ballistic shield.

9:49- Multiple shots fired by suspect.  Two rounds strike the lead deputy’s shield. Deputies retreat and deploy gas.

10:25 PM- Attempt to text- No answer.

10:26 PM- Attempt at phone contact- No answer.

10:30 PM- ESU Sgt requests negotiators call every 10 minutes.

10:40 PM-Attempt to call, left message advising L’Heureux that we still want a peaceful resolution.

10:50 PM-Attempt call- Left voicemail message

11:13 PM Attempt call- Left voicemail message

11:23 PM- Attempt call- Left voicemail message “We can still end this peacefully tonight”

11:33 PM- Attempt call- Left voicemail message.

11:43 PM- Attempt call- Left voicemail message

11:53 PM- Attempt call- Left voicemail message

Saturday, 23 JAN 16

12:03 AM Attempt call- left call back number message.

12:50-1:00 AM- Throw phone is dropped into the basement. The throw phone is a corded box with a handheld receiver and allows negotiators to speak directly with the subject. No answer

1:10 AM- CS Gas deployed. It has no apparent effect

1:20 AM- Observed movement in the basement

1:30 AM- More gas deployed upstairs- It has no apparent effect

1:47 AM- Observed movement in the basement.  L’Heureux observed holding a gun.

2:20 AM-OPD ERU requested to relieve DCSO ESU members who had been posted outside for more than 7 hours.

1:50-3:00 AM- Attempts are made to contact L’Heureux using the PA on the robot.- No contact, but law enforcement can hear movement in the basement and possible yelling from L’Heureux (unintelligible). A recorded message from a family member is played over robot PA asking L’Heureux to surrender.  No response. At 0310, the robot becomes disabled when the battery expires.

4:45 AM- Attempt to call on cellphone- No contact, Left voicemail message.

4:46 AM- Attempt to contact by text message, No response.

4:46-5:11 AM- No movement or sound.

5:11 AM- Observed L’Heureux with long object in hand.  L’Heureux appeared to be examining the throw phone but did not make contact.

5:45 AM- Attempt phone call- No answer, left voicemail message.

5:59 AM- Observed L’Heureux with a 2x4 in left hand and an unknown object in his right hand. 

6:22 AM- Gas deployed. No apparent effect

6:46-7:07 AM-OPD ERU gives verbal commands. “This is the Omaha Police Department, pick up the phone, we are not leaving,”- No response.

8:03 AM – Subject observed stacking items against a wall.  ERU advised.

8:08 – 8:15 ERU tells L’Heureux, “nobody wants to hurt you”, “your wife’s worried about you”, “you’re not in trouble, we just want to take you to the hospital”, etc., No response

8:32 AM – L’Heureux seen walking with a firearm in his right hand, possibly a rifle, and has what appears to be a towel wrapped around his head.

8:53 AM – Decision is made to use the combination of cold weather and water to the team’s advantage. With assistance from OFD a fire hose is used to introduce water into the basement in order to make the suspect uncomfortable and get him to come out.  OFD  also assisted by turning off the utilities in hopes it would cause further discomfort and to prevent any fires/explosions set by the suspect from being fed by natural gas.  The OPD Bomb team made 2 explosive breaches into the home in order to create holes for the hoses to be deployed and to cause further exposure to the elements. During this entire time, L’Heureux was seen moving in the basement but he would not engage with negotiators.    Outside temperatures ranged from 19 – 21 degrees. 

10:57 AM– More water sent into the basement. It has no apparent effect

11:09 AM– Gas deployed. It has no apparent effect

12:46 PM– Continued attempts of buzzing the throw phone alarm, still no response.

1:00 PM – More water sent into the basement, It has no apparent effect

1:22 PM – L’Heureux is observed pacing back and forth very slowly and appears to be very lethargic and disoriented, sometimes going into a room that was out of view.  He is wearing only shorts and a t-shirt with a towel over his shoulders while walking in approximately 6 inches of water in the basement.  On and off, L’Heureux is seen with a large revolver in his hand.

2:10 PM – L’Heureux is still walking around and carrying the firearm.

3:01 PM – Gas  deployed into the basement, within 10 feet of L’Heureux. It has no apparent effect. L’Heureux changes his shirt and then begins to stack what appears to be a pillow and towels in the corner of the basement near a rear window. He then laid down.

3:27 PM - After discussion with command on and off the scene, it was decided to try and elicit a response using an additional explosive breach followed by a flash bang distraction device. If that maneuver failed to create any movement from L’Heureux, K9 Kobus would be sent into the basement to help subdue L’Heureux.  Kobus was positioned near the react team at the basement door.

3:36 PM – Explosive breach deployed and no reaction from L’Heureux, who appears to be lying face down on the floor, but showing little movement. On scene command believes L’Heureux may be exhibiting signs of hypothermia as he has been exposed to sub freezing temperatures for more than 8 hours. Additionally, he is wet and has been awake for more than 24 hours. He has been lying in his current position for nearly 45 minutes, showing little movement.

3:40 PM - Explosive breach deployed on the window above the area where L’Heureux was lying in an effort to determine if he was responsive and to introduce more cold air into the basement.  The charge was intended to create a loud explosion that would cause most people to at least flinch.  When the charge went off, breaking out the window, there was no movement by the suspect in reaction to the breach.

3:56 PM – Distraction Device deployed (flash bang) just above where L’Heureux is lying. No movement from L’Heureux is observed.

3:58 PM – K9 Kobus is deployed. As Kobus is searching for the suspect, the suspect fires two rounds, striking Kobus.  Kobus is too far inside the door for the react team to safely reach him without putting human life at risk.  PSD Kobus dies from his injuries.

4:01 PM – ESU advised that L’Heureux is in the same location

4:03 PM– L’Heureux stood up and walked to main room area, then back to the area where he’d been lying down

4:29 PM – OPD ERU advised that L’Heureux is still lying down, in the same area

4:40 PM – OPD ERU advised that L’Heureux is still lying down, in the same area

4:46 PM – OPD ERU advised that L’Heureux is still lying down, in the same area

4:48 PM – 4 Flash bangs sent in, L’Heureux remained in same spot

4:50 PM - More water sent into the basement-OFD again assisted by providing a fire hose, and water was introduced into the window that was breached, to directly affect L’Heureux. 

4:58 PM— L’Heureux is observed walking around with revolver in hand.

5:05 PM— L’Heureux is heard speaking/unknown to whom or to himself.

5:35 PM – L’Heureux yelling and screaming profanity.  ERU trying to communicate with him verbally.  

6:12 PM – L’Heureux observed standing near laundry room holding a handgun.  He moves forward with a gun in each hand, yells profanities at law enforcement officers and retreats back in. More water is sprayed into the house.

6:14 PM – L’Heureux tells law enforcement he will not put down guns. 

6:22 PM – L’Heureux began yelling at officers to turn the water off and leave him alone.  He gets up from his corner and walks toward the back door and stairs.

6:35 PM – L’Heureux dropped both handguns and begins a dialogue with officers. 

6:37 PM – Water is turned off.

6:42 PM – L’Heureux is directed to exit the east door of the basement with his hands up.

6:44 PM - L’Heureux finally complies with law enforcement and is taken into custody.