Second Lincoln man arrested in shooting in GI

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A Lincoln man accused of gunning down a second Lincoln man early Thursday in Grand Island was arrested later that day, according to a Nebraska State Patrol news release.

Antoine Johnson, who turns 34 Friday, was arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and two counts of use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony in a shooting that left Gary Zierke III, 31, of Lincoln, critically injured shortly after midnight.

Grand Island police said Zierke was taken by life flight to an Omaha hospital in critical condition.

By midday, Hall County Attorney Marty Klein had charged Johnson for what happened at about 12:20 a.m. and a warrant was out for his arrest.

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In an affidavit for Johnson’s arrest, Grand Island police said a 911 call sent them to Sycamore Street and Oklahoma Avenue, where they found Zierke lying in the street. 

He’d been shot once in the head.

Law enforcement quickly started looking for a red SUV with alphanumeric plates that witnesses had seen speeding away with the suspected shooter in the backseat, according to scanner traffic.

Grand Island Police investigator Bruce Collamore said a State Patrol trooper spotted a red Chevrolet Trailblazer headed east on Interstate 80 near the Aurora exit. When the trooper stopped it, the man in the backseat, Johnson, ran and got away, he said.

Later Thursday, the State Patrol received information that Johnson could be in the area south of Interstate 80 at the Henderson exit at mile marker 342. Troopers went to that location, found Johnson in a ditch about a mile south of I-80 and arrested him around 6:45 p.m.

Police said the shooting was believed to be drug-related.

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Collamore said the driver of the Trailblazer had driven Zierke and Johnson from Lincoln to Grand Island for a suspected drug deal at a home on Kimball Avenue. While there, Johnson allegedly ran over to Zierke and shot him once, then ran back to the SUV, according to the affidavit for Johnson’s arrest. 

Johnson has been taken to the Hall County Jail. 

Johnson lives on New Hampshire Street in the North Bottoms, according to recent court records.

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Lincoln police said Johnson was in downtown Lincoln early March 15 when Timothy Montgomery was shot and killed in a disturbance outside the Main Street Bar.

He was charged with failure to comply for refusing to give his name and date of birth after he was seen running from the area right after the shooting.

Another man, Marcus Winston, stands accused of first-degree murder for that shooting.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger

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