COLUMBUS – Columbus Mayor Jim Bulkley has known Sergeant Brad Wangler since he was a kid growing up in Columbus.
Bulkley said after hearing the news that Sergeant Wangler had been shot during a Thursday night incident, his first thought was “This is Columbus, Nebraska, and that just doesn’t happen here.”
“The thing is, when something like that happens, we all known him. Bear with me, I’ve know Officer Wangler since he was a young man, a young boy. Excuse me. And these are things these [police officers] do. They put their life on the line for us.”
Bulkley says Wangler is a husband and father who is extremely caring for both his family and members of the Columbus community.
“He’s extremely involved in the community. Boy Scouts, baseball, softball, soccer. You know the things any young dad does. And so those are the things that make it tough. It makes it tough no matter who it is, but when it’s somebody you know that really puts out for the community, and he’s there for all of us,” says Bulkley.
Wangler is considered to be in stable condition, and will undergo surgery for a neck injury suffered during the gunfight, said CPD.
“I’ve had people ask about donations, and this and that kind of thing, and their may well be those kinds of things that evolve in the next few days, and knowing Columbus their probably will be those kind of things. The best thing we can do right now is pray,” said Bulkley.
Wangler and a second officer were responding to a report that a wanted suspect, Jorje Robledo, 24, was at 3410 16th Street. Robledo had an active warrant for violating terms of his probation, according to court records.
Police said in a media release that, “In the course of the contact with the Suspect; 24 year old Jorje Robledo, a gunfight ensued. Initially, during the conflict, Robledo was armed with a handgun. As the situation developed, Robledo transitioned to a rifle. Both Wangler and Robledo were shot during the exchange and received multiple gunshot wounds.”
Robledo was last reported by police to be in critical condition. Police say they have not yet filed any new charges against Robledo, and the case is being jointly investigated by Nebraska State Patrol and the Columbus Police Department.
CPD also thanked the Platte County Sheriff’s and Omaha Police Departments for their support.