NORFOLK — One man is dead after an apparent suicide during an encounter with Madison County Sheriff’s deputies Saturday night southwest of Norfolk. According to Madison County Attorney Joe Smith, the incident began with a call from a citizen reporting a suspicious vehicle on country roads in central Madison County.
Jonnathon Follette lives near the intersection of 837th Road and 550th Ave. and tells News Channel Nebraska that just after 7:00 p.m. he noticed a red van slowly driving by his home and a male driver getting out walking down into the ditch looking at a large stump. Follette said he became suspicious and followed the vehicle and called 911. Follette made a second call when the suspect began following him. Shortly thereafter, a police cruiser got in behind the suspect’s vehicle and activated his emergency lights and the suspect came to stop in a field near the intersection of 37th Street and North Airport Road.
Police at the scene confirmed that the suspect was armed and that they activated the Sheriff Department’s CERT unit to provide back-up and ensure scene security. Several state troopers assisted in the effort and Norfolk Fire’s Rescue Unit stood by further east at the intersection with HWY 81.
At approximately, 10:20 p.m. Smith tells News Channel Nebraska that a 59 year-old white male took his own life while surrounded by deputies. No officers fired any shots and the suspect died at the scene. Under Nebraska law, a Grand Jury must be called to investigate an “In custody” death. Smith says he is arranging for an autopsy later today in Omaha.