The Nebraska State Patrol has released additional information about Thursday’s incident in Laurel, including confirmation of gunfire.
Gunfire confirmed to have played a role in incident that killed 4 in Laurel
The Nebraska State Patrol is urging the public to be vigilant following an incident in Laurel, Nebraska that killed four people and damaged two homes.
According to a Nebraska State Patrol press release, gunfire is now suspected to have played a role in the incidents at both 209 Elm Street and 503 Elm Street. The revelation comes after the fire was successfully extinguished and investigators were given time to inspect the homes.
The fire at 209 Elm Street was initially reported as a house explosion, but officials now believe that the fire at 503 Elm Street began around the same time and was only visible from the outside of the home for hours.
The Nebraska State Patrol is requesting that anyone who witnesses anything unusual between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m. call the NSP immediately at 402-479-4921.
According to officials, the previously reported silver sedan left Laurel later than previously reported.
The Nebraska State Patrol, Cedar County Sheriff’s Office, and the Laurel Police Department are urging residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement by dialing the number listed above or 911.
One Laurel resident told KCAU 9 that the absence of a suspect in custody is concerning.
“A little bit, yes, because, as I mentioned, we don’t know what to expect.” “There have been a lot of different people running through town,” Linda Gobell explained.
This is a continuing investigation. More information will be added as it becomes available.
The Nebraska State Patrol’s Col. John Bolduc confirmed four deaths in the town of Laurel, Nebraska. No one has been arrested in connection with the four deaths as of yet.
Bolduc said the first reports of a house explosion came in shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday. The blast occurred at 209 Elm Street. Firefighters responded to the call and discovered one person dead inside, according to officials. Along with fire crews, the Nebraska State Patrol, Laurel Police Department, and Cedar County Sheriff’s Office responded.
A second fire was reported three blocks away at 503 Elm Street while firefighters were on the scene. Three more people were discovered dead inside the scene, according to Bolduc.
Officials are currently investigating both scenes after all fires were extinguished. According to fire investigators, accelerants were used in both fires. Furthermore, they believe anyone who was inside the house at the time may have suffered burn injuries.
Bold said that after the second fire, a silver Sedan was seen leaving town west on Highway 20. Currently, the man is described as a black male. Officials also claimed that the driver picked up a passenger.
Because the investigation is still in its early stages, the identities of the victims are not being released to the public at this time. Bolduc stated that they do not know the cause of death for the four people and will rely on medical examiners to determine this. Foul play is to be expected.
Witness Alan Pallas told KCAU 9 that he heard a gunshot in the early morning.
“It was not what I expected,” Pallas said. “Normally, the lady sits out there in the morning and smokes a cigarette.” That’s what I thought she was doing until I heard the gunshot. Then reality hits.”
Bolduc did not say whether the two incidents were connected, but said it would not be surprising if they were.
“We have two fires with fatalities three blocks apart.” It would be a stretch to say there is no connection, but the investigation is still in its early stages, and we hope to find answers in the coming days,” Bolduc said.
Cedar County Sheriff Larry Koranda stated that it is a very close-knit community and urged residents to reach out if they have any information.
“We don’t know for sure if people knew each other, but in this small community, everyone knows everyone,” Koranda said. “I believe people simply need to be more diligent.
If they notice anything out of the ordinary or unusual, they should contact the state patrol […] so that investigators can follow up on those leads.”
Koranda believes the community is safe, but that an event like this affects everyone.
“It jolts everyone.” Not only do the neighbors know each other, but in a small community of a thousand people, everyone knows everyone,” Koranda explained. “It doesn’t just affect the neighbors or people nearby; it also affects the EMS that responded, the fire that responded today and is currently working on the fires.” As a result, it affects everyone.
We appreciate what they’re doing because the investigation won’t be finished until they finish.”
Authorities are asking anyone with information, including possible surveillance video, to contact the Nebraska State Patrol. NPS requested that they be reached by phone at 402-479-4921.
Laurel City Hall has been placed on voluntary lockdown until 5 p.m.
Witnesses reported seeing a large law enforcement presence in the Nebraska town of Laurel on Thursday. According to the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP), there are multiple deaths and multiple scenes.
The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office advised the Laurel City Hall to go into lockdown, according to a Laurel City Hall official. A reporter on the scene said that cones have blocked off a section of West 3rd Street.
The NSP also stated that the deaths are being investigated. The agency will hold a press conference at a local church on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.