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Fatal shooting at Nebraska grain elevatorFatal shooting at Nebraska grain elevator

The incident leaves two victims dead in the Nuckolls County community of Superior.

Curt Arens

October 25, 2021

2 Min Read
Grain elevator
SAD HARVEST: As grain piles up in elevators across the country during a hectic harvest season, violence broke out at the Agrex Inc. grain elevator Oct. 21 in Superior, Neb., leaving two victims and one suspect dead, and one other victim injured. Edwin Remsberg/getty images

In the midst of a hectic harvest season, the rural community of Superior in Nuckolls County in south-central Nebraska was rocked just before 2 p.m. Oct. 21 when a fatal shooting took place at the Agrex Inc. grain elevator.

A Nebraska State Patrol news release from Oct. 22 stated the names of the victims who were killed in the tragic shooting. They are Sandra Nelson, 60, of Formoso, Kan., and Darin Koepke, 53, of Hadar, Neb.

Nelson was pronounced dead at the scene in Superior. Koepke was flown to Bryan Health West Campus in Lincoln, where he was later pronounced dead. A third victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the hospital in Superior, and was released Oct. 21, according to NSP.

The NSP news release stated that once the shooting had begun, an Agrex employee retrieved a shotgun from an office, returned fire and struck the suspect. The suspect in the shooting has been identified as Max Hoskinson, 61, of Superior, Neb.

Hoskinson, who was pronounced dead at the hospital in Superior, had his employment with Agrex terminated earlier in the day. According to NSP, Hoskinson returned to Agrex with a handgun and opened fire, striking three people, before the Agrex employee could retrieve a shotgun and return fire.

All other names of individuals in the incident are being withheld due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, NSP noted.

Agrex statement

A statement posted Oct. 22 on the Agrex Inc. website said, “On Thursday, Oct. 21, there was a violent incident at an Agrex facility in Superior, Neb. Our thoughts and prayers are with our co-workers and their families affected by this incident. At this time, the incident is being investigated, and therefore we are not able to offer any further comments.”

An additional statement on the homepage of the website said that “out of respect and sympathy for our co-workers and their families, the Superior elevator” was closed through the weekend. The statement said that the elevator was to open at noon Oct. 25 for questions on future deliveries, contracts and pricings.

“We will continue to keep you updated with further developments regarding the reopening of the elevator,” the statement said. It concluded, “Thank you for your patience as we navigate these difficult times.”

NSP is investigating the incident, with assistance from the Nuckolls County Sheriff’s Office, Superior Police Department and Nuckolls County Attorney’s Office. The investigation is ongoing.

Learn more online at statepatrol.nebraska.gov.

Content for this article was compiled from news releases from the Nebraska State Patrol and agrexinc.com.

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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