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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Topeka murder suspect surrenders near St. Mary after Pawnee City robbery and two gun battles

  • A man who engaged Nebraska authorities in two gun battles after an alleged robbery attempt in Pawnee City Wednesday night is wanted in connection with a Topeka murder.Johnson County sheriff's deputies apprehended the Michael Engstrom, 33, and his wife Jaime Engstrom, 33, after their car became stuck in a field west of...
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  • A man who engaged Nebraska authorities in two gun battles after an alleged robbery attempt in Pawnee City Wednesday night is wanted in connection with a Topeka murder.
    Johnson County sheriff's deputies apprehended the Michael Engstrom, 33, and his wife Jaime Engstrom, 33, after their car became stuck in a field west of St. Mary, Neb.
    A 14-year-old girl who was traveling with the pair was also taken into custody.
    Kansas authorities said Engstrom and the two females fled the scene of a double shooting at an apartment complex at 2:15 pm. on Wednesday.
    Ricky Mitchell, 35, was killed and Bridget Gakle, 28, was injured.
    Nebraska authorities were alerted around 7:30 p.m. when there was a robbery report from a Casey's General Store in Pawnee City.
    A Nebraska state trooper spotted a white four-door Ford Focus that had been described both at the murder scene and the Pawnee City robbery. The trooper stopped the vehicle along with a Johnson County sheriff's deputy, but the driver allegedly opened.
    The officers returned fire and the vehicle drove away.
    A bullet grazed the thigh of the deputy.
    A second state trooper reported the vehicle near Elk Creek and reports additional shots fire.
    The trooper followed the car to Highway 41 when his car became disabled because of a flat tire.
    At that time, Johnson County sheriff's deputies took the lead in the pursuit, which ended when the car became stuck in the field.
    Highway 41 curves around the tiny village, but there is a dirt road that goes into the village. The road passes a few city blocks and turns into a field road. The field road goes about a half mile, but ends at a creek.
    Johnson County Attorney Julie D. Smith said Engstrom fired again on on a deputy after the car got stuck, but surrendered when the deputy returned fire.
    A pistol was recovered from the Ford Focus. It was out of bullets in the magazine. Also seized were a black ski mask, black gloves, two pistol holders, and an additional magazine
    A large number of law enforcement officers as well as a helicopter from the Nebraska State Patrol were utilized to take the suspects into custody.
    At the time of their arrest, law enforcement officers also discovered that the couple had a 14-year-old female in the vehicle with them. She has been taken into protective custody by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
    Neither the suspects nor the juvenile was harmed during apprehension. The Johnson County Sheriff's Deputy was treated and released.
    Mr. Engstrom was booked into jail for the following Johnson County allegations
    • "attempted 2nd degree murder," a Class II Felony; "flight to avoid arrest," a Class IV Felony;
    • "use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony," a Class IC Felony; and "child abuse," a Class IIIA Felony;
    Page 2 of 2 - His wife was booked in on the following Johnson County allegations
    • "aiding and abetting in attempted 2nd degree murder," a Class II Felony;
    • "aiding and abetting in flight to avoid arrest," a Class IV Felony; and
    • "child abuse," a Class IIIA Felony
    No bond has been set.
    According to Johnson County Attorney Julie D. Smith, the couple will likely go before a judge on Wednesday to have their bond set in Johnson County.
    They would have a separate bond set in Pawnee County for any charges they may face there in connection with the alleged robbery at Casey's General Store.
    When the vehicle turned north on Highway 50, Otoe County deputies pursued to into Johnson County.
    A pistol was recovered from the Ford. Smith said it was found to be out of bullets in the magazine. Also seized were a black ski mask, black gloves, two pistol holders and an additional magazine
    A large number of law enforcement officers as well as a helicopter from the Nebraska State Patrol were utilized to take the suspects into custody.
    At the time of their arrest, law enforcement officers also discovered that the couple had a 14-year-old female in the vehicle with them. She has been taken into protective custody by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
    Neither the suspects nor the juvenile was harmed during apprehension. The Johnson County Sheriff's Deputy was treated and released.
    At this time, no formal charges have been filed. Engstrom was booked into jail in connection with the following Johnson County allegations: attempted 2nd degree murder, a Class II felony; flight to avoid arrest, a Class IV felony; use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, a Class IC felony; and child abuse, a Class IIIA Felony.
    His wife was booked into jail in connection with the following Johnson County allegations: aiding and abetting in attempted 2nd degree murder, a Class II felony; aiding and abetting in flight to avoid arrest," a Class IV felony; an child abuse," a Class IIIA felony.
    No bond has been set. According to Smith, the couple will likely go before a judge on Wednesday to have their bond set in Johnson County. They would have a separate bond set in Pawnee County for any charges they may face there in connection with the alleged robbery at Casey's General Store.

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