Clay County suspect wounded in officer-involved shooting in Deweese

Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 5:58 PM CDT
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The Nebraska State Patrol is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Deweese Thursday afternoon. The incident involved a Nuckolls County Sheriff’s Deputy and a suspect who had been sought by multiple agencies throughout the week.

Wesley Blessing, 44, Hastings, had been at large since a shooting incident Tuesday afternoon in which he reportedly fired at a Clay County Sheriff's deputy.

Stephany Black told Local4 that Blessing approached her DeWeese home Thursday afternoon around 4 p.m., knocked on the door and asked for for a drink. While Blessing was talking to her husband, Black called 911 and a nearby Nuckolls County deputy was called to the scene.

Nebraska State Patrol said as the deputy responded, Blessing was observed with a handgun. During the confrontation, Blessing was shot by the sheriff’s deputy.

Black said Blessing took off down the street. Black said gunshots were fired and Blessing was wounded in the face.

Troopers and other law enforcement officers quickly arrived on scene to render medical aid. Blessing was transported to Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings with serious injuries. He has since been transported to Bryan Health West Campus in Lincoln.

A portion of main street in DeWeese is blocked off as investigators examine the scene.

The Clay County Sheriff said Blessing allegedly fired shots from a 9 MM handgun at law enforcement late Tuesday afternoon on a rural road in the southwest part of the county.

Hastings Police tipped off Clay County authorities after a woman told them she had been held against her will by Blessing since the morning of April 10. The 34-year-old Hastings woman, described as an ex-girlfriend of the suspect, told police they had been driving in the country Tuesday afternoon when Blessing got out of the car. She then escaped in the vehicle and reported to the police station. She last saw Blessing in the general area of the Clay County search.

After the shots were fired at deputies more than 100 officers from Clay County, Fillmore County, Nuckolls County, Adams County, Harvard and Sutton police departments and the Nebraska State Patrol, SWAT helicopter and airplane began a search in rural Clay County near DeWeese..

The woman alleged Blessing held her and assaulted her at her home in south Hastings. She did have some bruising injuries as the result of an assault.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office has requested that the Nebraska State Patrol conduct an investigation into the officer-involved shooting. The prior incidents remain under investigation by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

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