A Valparaiso man shot himself to death Sunday inside his SUV on westbound I-80 near Gretna after being stopped by a Nebraska state trooper.
The Nebraska State Patrol identifies the victim as 20-year-old Jacob Kraatz. The patrol says the trooper observed Kraatz shortly after noon at the Melia Hill rest area off westbound I-80 after being alerted he might be suicidal. When Kraatz left the rest area, the trooper pulled the vehicle over, but the driver refused to get out of his SUV. He laid down in the vehicle and a standoff with authorities began. After waiting for about an hour and a half, the Sarpy County Emergency Services Unit approached the vehicle and found Kraatz had killed himself.
Authorities closed the east bound lanes of I-80 for about 90 minutes during the incident. All but one westbound lane of the interstate was closed for several hours while authorities processed the scene. A grand jury will be convened to investigate the death. Nebraska law requires a grand jury investigation of any death while in police custody or during arrest.