North Platte, Neb. — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol were called to assist the Custer County Sheriff’s Office with a standoff situation at 6:16 a.m. Monday, February 24 at a residence in northeast Custer County on Dunning Road, north of Arnold. The situation had begun with a report of a suicidal party.
NSP negotiators reported to the scene and began communicating with the subject, identified as Print Zutavern, 28. Earlier in the day, Zutavern threatened his father with a firearm, shot and killed multiple animals, and threatened law enforcement officers.
Throughout the day, communications continued and additional NSP resources responded. A warrant was issued for Zutavern’s arrest on charges of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, use of a weapon to commit a felony, two counts of terroristic threats, and two counts of intentional cruelty to an animal.
At approximately 6:11 p.m., Zutavern attempted to leave the property driving a UTV, but was blocked by multiple troopers who gave loud commands for Zutavern to put his hands up. Zutavern then exited his UTV, ignored repeated commands, and moved aggressively toward a trooper. As Zutavern approached the trooper, he refused to remove his hand from his pocket. The trooper then discharged his duty weapon, striking Zutavern.
Troopers and emergency medical technicians began life-saving efforts immediately. Zutavern was transported to Great Plains Hospital in North Platte where he succumbed to his injuries.
A shotgun was recovered from the UTV Zutavern had been driving. No law enforcement personnel were injured during the incident.
In accordance with Nebraska State Patrol policy, the trooper has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal review. The Custer County Attorney has directed an investigation, which is ongoing. Nebraska law requires a grand jury to convene for any in-custody death.