Community Reacts to Attorney's Murder

By  | 

Grand Island, NE Two shooting deaths in two of the tri-cities. 10/11 spoke with many of the people who knew one of the victims, attorney Todd Elsbernd.

Elsbernd's wife, Jeannie, said on the phone Thursday that Todd was, "A great dad, a loving husband, and loved spending time with his friends and family."

She was one of many people grieving the loss. Those who knew Todd Elsbernd described him first as a great family man.

He cared a lot about the school system and even sat on the Grand Island School Board. Thursday night the board had a meeting that was shortened because everyone was so emotional over the loss.

Ten members of the Grand Island School Board met Thursday evening, but one seat was left solemnly empty.

"This evening we are all here tonight with heavy hearts. The events of last evening leave us with a myriad of questions and emotions, but at the present time we need to focus our attention on Todd's family," said Dr. Robert Winters of the School Board.

While Todd Elsbernd's family was on the minds of many, they also recalled fond memories of his time on the school board.

"Todd Elsbernd was a colleague, a friend. He brought much to this board with his wisdom, his incite and his humor," said Dr. Winters.

In Elsbernd's roll as an attorney, even those who tried against him say he was a great person.

"He was a great guy, he was very conscientious, he was a fantastic attorney. I enjoyed working with him. He was very gracious. He's going to be missed," said Shawn Farritor, a Legal Aid Nebraska Staff Attorney.

A client Elsbernd helped in the past when she really needed it says she has fond memories of seeing him in his office.

Brenda Saldecki said, "He had a great sense of humor, always joking around. Would go into the offices when he was working, he'd be singing through the halls and joking around with the clients, very light mooded and a very nice guy."

Saldecki said when she heard of the shooting in front of his office, she hoped it was not Elsbernd.

Elsbernd was respected not only in the courtroom or board room, but in his personal life too.

"I had gone through some medical issues about 10 years ago and he actually called me and asked me how I was doing and he showed a graciousness that I was pretty impressed. He cared about the people who he worked with," Farritor recalled of Elsbernd.

Most people said they hoped the killer would be found and brought to justice. With the news of an arrest, those friends can look forward to justice.