Piedmont officer cleared in death of ex-firefighter

Piedmont police officer Jack Neumann has been cleared in the shooting death of retired Yukon firefighter Devin Nemecek. Nemecek forced his way into Neumann's home last month.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY rmedley@opubco.com Published: May 7, 2011

— A Canadian County prosecutor has cleared a Piedmont police officer in the April shooting death of a retired firefighter with a medical condition and who police said forced his way into the officer's house.

Former Yukon firefighter Devin Nemecek, 47, was shot and killed by Piedmont officer Jack Neumann, 37, on April 19.

There is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Neumann, District Attorney Mike Fields said.

Nemecek died from three gunshot wounds, one to the neck and two to the chest, Fields said.

Piedmont Police Chief Jerry Koester said Neumann is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered while fighting Nemecek. Neumann is on medical leave but expected to return to work, Koester said.

“This is good news,” Koester said. “It is what we expected. We appreciate the district attorney for reviewing the case.”

Nemecek forced his way into Neumann's Yukon home and attacked Neumann with a metal stake, the district attorney wrote in a statement.

A former Yukon fire chief said Nemecek was injured in 2009 when he inhaled toxic fumes while fighting a fire in Yukon during which his breathing apparatus failed.

His family members said Nemecek had been on oxygen treatment due to lung damage and may have been disoriented and hallucinating that morning due to low oxygen levels.

Neumann's wife and two young children were inside the house when the shooting happened. Nemecek lived about four houses from Neumann's residence.

After the shooting, Yukon police conducted a full investigation and the results were presented to Fields' office for review on Tuesday.

“No action by this office is warranted,” Fields stated. “Officer Neumann's actions were justified under the law.”

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