At around 10:30 PM on August 26, 2020, the Kearney Police Department received a shots fired call in the 100 block of Huron Drive in the south part of the city.
Upon officer arrival, they found damage to the rear window of a 2010 Dodge Nitro and significant damage to the front windows and door of a house. One of the responding officers allegedly found two shotgun shell wads on the front lawn of the residence and another closer to the road.
Court records go on to state that a female, her boyfriend, their child, and two minors in their care were all at the residence at the time of the shooting that they all heard approximately three shots being fired and glass shattering. The boyfriend stated to officers that he witnessed a light-colored 2000s model pickup driving by very slowly.
Further investigation allegedly revealed that a female at the residence has been the primary caregiver of her siblings for the past six months and that the paternal parents of the children had court in Lincoln County, NE regarding the placement of the children.
Richard Fries, the accused shooter, is the father of the minor children. He is, according to court records, an alleged methamphetamine user.
A Sergeant from the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) states that a Trooper with NSP initiated a traffic stop with the suspect vehicle on Interstate 80 approximately six miles east of North Platte, where the alleged suspect lives, based on information provided by the Kearney Police Department and the facts that the vehicle had no license plates and expired in-transit papers.
The suspect, according to the arrest affidavit, told the Trooper that he had dropped a friend off in Cozad and was headed home to North Platte. Mid-Nebraska Scanner is unable to validate through any available resources that said friend is a real person, and Fries was also not able to provide any contact information for this friend.
Records state that Fries waived his Miranda Rights and was asked to provide swabs for gunshot residue on his hands. Fries stated that he would need an attorney present for the swabs to happen. Fries then allowed Troopers to seize a shirt, shorts, shoes, and a hat.
At this time, Fries allegedly made suicidal statements which led to him being placed into emergency protective custody.
Fries is a convicted felon and has been charged with numerous crimes. Among those crimes are:
• 2000 - Aggravated Assault, Carrying a Concealed Weapon
• 2008 - Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Carrying a Concealed Weapon
• 2020 - Terroristic Threats
• 2020 - Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Possession of a Deadly Weapon by a Prohibited Person
Additional reports allege that Fries has shot a gun at his daughter, shot a gun at family members, once shot himself in the ear in front of a child, and pulled a gun on his wife in front of children.
Fries is charged in the Buffalo County Court with one count of Discharge of a Firearm in the City, a Class 1C Felony, and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, a Class 1D Felony. If convicted of both charges, Fries faces a maximum of 100 years imprisonment.
He continues to be held at the Lincoln County Jail.