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GIPD Press Release - 2nd UPDATE

Post Date:March 14, 2019 10:00 am

Officer Involved Shooting SECOND UPDATE

In the wake of a shooting, involving the Grand Island Police Department and a member of our community, the Grand Island Police Department has made the decision to release the following information.

On 3/13/19, at about 9:00 pm, Officer Rick Ehlers, a 19 year veteran of the Grand Island Police Department, was assaulted with a knife.  Officer Ehlers shot Benjamin J. Melendez, 29 years old of Grand Island, the suspect of this assault.  Melendez was pronounced dead later that night. 

Officer Ehlers was hospitalized due to his injuries, and remained hospitalized until Friday, 3/15/19.  An independent investigation continues into this incident as a matter of normal and best practice.  The findings of that investigation will be forwarded to the Hall County Attorney’s Office, and will not be handled by or further commented upon by our agency at this time.

Officer Involved Shooting U P D A T E

   The Grand Island Police Department continues to cooperate with an ongoing investigation relating to Grand Island Police Officers involved in a shooting incident.   

   Officers responded to an address on North St. Paul Rd. where a 17 year veteran of the Grand Island Police Department was assaulted with a knife.  The officer responded by shooting the suspect, a 29 year old Hispanic male from Grand Island.   The suspect was later pronounced dead.    

   The Grand Island Police Officer remains hospitalized at this time.  It does not appear the injuries are life threatening.   

   An independent investigation remains under way by SCALES law enforcement agencies.  In order to protect the sanctity of the investigation, the officers involved, and the family of the deceased, further information will not be released by the Grand Island Police Department during the ongoing investigation.  Future media releases will be conducted by the Hall County Attorney’s Office.    

   Our next step as an agency, we will continue to support our officers and work with our community as we continue through this difficult situation.



*original press release below

Officer Involved Shooting 

   On 03/13/19 at about 9pm, Grand Island Police Department Officers were involved in an officer involved shooting.  This is a very difficult situation for everyone involved.  

   After responding to an address on North St. Paul Road for the second time in the evening, an officer was assaulted with a knife.  The Officer responded with lethal force, shooting the male suspect; who was transported by ambulance and later pronounced dead.  The officer received knife wounds and was transported to the hospital.  Those injuries are not life threatening.  

   This is an ongoing investigation.  We have turned the investigation over to agencies involved in the South Central Area Law Enforcement Services (SCALES) agreement for a thorough and independent investigation.  Our next step as an agency is to assist SCALES in their investigation in any way possible, while supporting our officers and members of our community.  

   We appreciate the patience to allow this investigation to take place with concern for the members our department, and for family of the deceased.  

    Further media inquiries should be directed to the Hall County Attorney’s Office