Suspect wanted for sexual assault of a child starts fire inside apartment during standoff

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 11:47 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 12:52 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A man who intentionally started a fire during a standoff in northwest Lincoln is in critical condition after being tased during his arrest. Two officers were also taken to the hospital due to smoke inhalation.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office said a warrant was served for Veonta Hopper around 9:15 a.m. at an apartment near 15th Street and Hilltop Road.

LSO said Hopper barricaded himself inside the lower level apartment, which he does not rent, and eventually started a fire inside after hours of negotiation.

Officers entered the apartment, and after Hopper was combative, he was tased and taken into custody. He was transported in critical condition, according to authorities.

Two Lincoln Police officers who entered the apartment were also transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons due to smoke inhalation.

According to court records, Hopper was wanted for multiple instances of sexual assault of a child.

In one case, Hopper reportedly raped a young child multiple times, who was under the age of 8 years old and was known to him. The alleged crimes took place between the start of 2016 and the end of 2019.

A police report was filed in June of 2021. According to court documents, Hopper told the victim he would “kill her” if she told anyone about the assaults.

In another case, he reportedly sexually assaulted a young child, who was under the age of 16, in 2017. A police report was filed in July 2021, and the victim was also known to him.

The victim told police she consumed too much alcohol one night around October of 2017, and was raped by Hopper while staying at his residence. The victim also said Hopper gave her cocaine afterward and raped her again.

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