In the early hours of Monday, June 9, 2014 officers arrived after shots were reportedly fired at one of their own. Former Deputy Josh Nincehelser had reported being shot by an unidentified man. Ninceheler was taken by ambulance to the Auburn Hospital and was later transported to Bryan LGH West in Lincoln, Neb. He had suffered a gunshot wound to his bicep that required staples and rest.
Officers who had arrived at the scene that night found Nincehelser’s 2013 Dodge 4×4, Crew Cab pick-up truck parked at the intersection of 634 avenue and 717 road in Richardson County. Three bullet holes were visible, one in the windshield and two in the hood. There appeared to be a bullet hole in the center headrest of the rear seat. They also noticed that a substance that appeared to be blood on the inside of the driver’s side door and the interior of the vehicle. The truck was later towed to the Richardson County Armory Building in Falls City where the it was to be stored, photographed and investigated. A four county manhunt began and a national bulletin went out, everyone was on the look out for the possible shooter.
Sheriff Randy Houser asked the Nebraska State Patrol to conduct an interview with Mr. Nincehelser at the hospital so that an investigation could begin. Sheriff Houser was able to piece together the scenario that Nincehelser notified dispatch by radio that he would be out of his vehicle one quarter mile west of US Hwy 75 on 717 Rd. with a tan or silver Dodge Neon with no license plates in reference to a possible motorist assist.
Five minutes after Nincehelser’s call to Dispatch, Dispatcher Houser conducted a status check per policy. When dispatch didn’t immediately receive a response, Deputy Stonebarger queried dispatch by radio. “What does 9195 have?” Dispatcher Houser told Deputy Stonebarger where Nincehelser was and that he was conducting a motorist assist.
Dispatcher Houser immediately queried Ninceheler by radio for a status check. Nincehelser replied “Gun shots fired!” then continued narrating his pursuit with the alleged Dodge Neon.
Shell casings, acceleration marks that were identified as being made by Nincehelser’s patrol vehicle, broken tinted auto safety glass, what appeared to be blood, and two apparent bullet ricochet marks were located approximately 4 yards west of highway 75 on 717 road. The shell casings were located in two separate locations; one spot yielded three .40 S&W brass cases. In the other, held five .45 ACP nickel Federal cases. Former Deputy Nincehelser’s duty ammunition is .45 ACP 230 grain Federal Hydra-Shock that also has nickel cartridge cases. One additional .40 S&W brass cartridge case was later found by Nebraska State Patrol investigators in the vegetation along the roadway at the scene.
According to the affidavit signed by Sheriff Houser, Investigator True and Technical investigators from the Nebraska State Patrol came to Falls City on June 10, to examine Nincehelser’s vehicle. It was at this time that Sheriff Houser told Investigator True that he thought it be best if the Nebraska State Patrol took the lead in the investigation due to the technical aspects that the Richardson County Sheriff’s Office was not capable to manage. During the investigation the Nebraska State Patrol Analyst plotted trajectories of the bullets that struck Nincehelser’s vehicle. It appeared that the bullets must have been fired from a higher point than could have been possible if fired by a person seated in a car.
On Thursday, June 12, Investigator True asked Sheriff Houser if Mr. Nincehelser had any other department issued handguns. Sheriff Houser advised that Nincehelser did indeed have a Glock 22 .40 S&W handgun, which was the property of the Richardson County Sheriff’s Office. Investigator True asked Sheriff Houser to retrieve the pistol from Mr. Nincehelser, which Houser did the same day. Nebraska State Patrol Forensics Technicians determined that the .40 caliber shell casings that Nincehelser claimed were fired by his alleged assailant were actually fired by his own department issued pistol.
When Mr. Nincehelser was confronted by Nebraska State Patrol Investigators about the .40 shell casings, blood evidence and questionable trajectories of the bullets, which struck his patrol vehicle, he confessed that the entire thing had been staged and he had falsely radioed his emergency to Dispatch.
Deputy Nincehelser’s employment was terminated for misconduct today and he was subsequently placed under arrest.
Due to Nincehelser’s status as a Law Enforcement Officer and a former Corrections Officer he will be held at a facility that can provide adequate safety for him. Mr. Nincehelser is also considered to be at risk for suicide or violent reprisal against law enforcement officers in his agency.
Bail has been set at $50,000 and his Arraignment is set for 10:00 a.m. on July 14, 2014.
The Falls City Journal will continue to update as the story unfolds.