Elderly Nebraskan shoots 7 neighbors, including kids; accused of saying ‘go back where you came from’

Seven people were shot during an incident in Nebraska when an elderly man opened fire on them from inside his home before turning the gun on himself.

Among the victims were four children with the man allegedly having previously told the neighbors to “go back to where they came from” and to “speak English,” according to police.

Police began receiving calls about an active shooter around 4:33 p.m. at the 1200 block of Crestline Drive in Crete, a town in the Southeastern part of the state near Lincoln, and upon arriving at the scene, could still hear gunshots being fired.

(Video Credit: KETV7)

“There were approximately 15 people at the victims’ residence at the time of the shooting. Most of the victims were in the yard, but at least one victim was struck while inside the house on Crestline Drive,” police said in a statement.

After finding the victims in the home on Crestline Drive, the cops determined that the shots were coming from a house across the street. When a SWAT team later made entry into the home, they found the alleged shooter who has been identified as 74-year-old Billy Booth dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound with a shotgun nearby.

“It was quickly determined that all gunfire had come from a single residence at 1810 Parkland Street,” said Nebraska State Patrol Col. John Bolduc at a Saturday press briefing, adding that the SWAT team had responded to arrest “a barricaded subject.”

There were reportedly tensions simmering between the home’s residents and Booth who allegedly “told them to go back to where they came from and to speak English,” according to police.

Six of the victims who are believed to be Hispanic were transported to Crete Area Medical Center, another was also transported to the hospital after later realizing that he had also been struck. They are all expected to survive.

It is unclear whether they are in the country illegally.

“You never really think that something like this will happen in an area, in this kind of an area in Crete, even in Crete overall,” said neighborhood resident Ana Flores.

“We are in a country where we’re able to speak our mind and be free,” she told KLKN. “But I can’t wrap my mind around if it’s a hate crime how it got to that extent, especially shooting at children.”

“There could be, we don’t know,” Crete Police Chief Gary Young said when asked whether the shooting may have been racially motivated. “Go home” and “Speak English” lends itself to that.’

The context of the alleged language from Booth comes from a police report accusing him of flipping them off and telling them to leave. However, it could just be hearsay and there doesn’t appear to be any actual recorded evidence that would substantiate the claim as anything more than a neighborhood beef.

Young said that Crete Police have responded to “several complaints” in the neighborhood since 2021, mostly coming from Booth about “driving behavior” in the neighborhood, “Not necessarily associated with the victims’ house, but cars driving too fast in the neighborhood, improper parking, nuisance properties, quality-of-life type issues.”

“There was a single report from the victims that the suspect had flipped them off, told them to, ‘Go home’ or ‘back to where they came from,’ to ‘speak English,’” Young told reporters.

“It is a sad reality that to this day, racism is still circling around this world and that someone could have such hate to do the amount of damages that were caused yesterday evening. A lot of people have been wondering on how to help out the family as they have remained anonymous and we respect their privacy. Anything you could help with is a great help and is very much appreciated and I, along with my friend and his family, thank everyone in advance,” reads a GoFundMe page created to help pay the victims’ medical expenses that is being promoted on the Crete PD’s Facebook page.

Chris Donaldson

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