A Santee man allegedly assaulted a Niobrara Police Officer and stole his gun before fleeing on foot Tuesday afternoon, leading to a multi-agency manhunt in the Niobrara State Park region.
According to the Knox County Sheriff's Department, at 1 p.m., they received a phone call that a Niobrara officer was assaulted in the low income housing units while attempting to arrest David Hoffman, 25 of Santee, on a Knox County arrest warrant.
Hoffman was able to disarm the Niobrara Officer and pointed the handgun at him before keeping the gun and running out of the village on foot and into the river bottom along the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers. No shots were fired.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area and set up a perimeter. Officers from the Nebraska State Patrol, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Santee Sioux Nation Tribal Police, also responded. Niobrara Fire and Rescue were put on standby. The Nebraska State Patrol Air Wing, Canine, and SWAT team were used to search and clear the area.
The Niobrara schools as well as several businesses were put in lock down during the search and some vehicles were searched on the edge of Niobrara.
The Sheriff’s Office evacuated employees from the Niobrara State Park. Three employee residences, fifteen cabins, and numerous outbuildings were searched. The search continued until approximately 10:00 P.M. at which time it was concluded that Hoffman had left the area.
The incident is under investigation by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol, and U.S. Marshall’s Service. Hoffman is considered armed and dangerous if the public sees him or knows his whereabouts they are asked to call the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.