September 19, 2014

Neb. UTU member dead; son dies in police shootout

ALLIANCE, Neb. — A 62-year-old BNSF Railway conductor, a member of the UTU for 42 years, was found dead in his house June 12, and his 27-year-old son was later shot to death in a standoff with police that left two police officers and a hostage wounded.

Dead are BNSF conductor Larry J. “Speedy” Gonzalez, a member of Local 934, Alliance, Neb., and his son, Andres “Andy” Gonzalez. The cause of Larry Gonzalez’ slaying has not been reported by police pending an autopsy.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, four members of a police special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team “stormed a building” housing a pharmacy here where the son had taken a hostage. Up to 40 shots were exchanged, some of which struck a building opposite where the gun fight occurred. Andres Gonzalez, who was shot dead by police following the 14-hour standoff, reportedly was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun. His father’s body was discovered following the gunfight.

Wounded, but expected to survive, were an Alliance police officer, a state policeman and a pharmacist who reportedly was held hostage by Andres Gonzalez.

The World-Herald said the son “had a reputation for abusing drugs” and “reportedly demanded drugs when he stormed into the pharmacy.”

The World-Herald also reported that during hostage negotiations – prior to the gunfight – Andres Gonzales “admitted” to killing a 38-year-old man who had gone missing in December. Andres’ 19-year-old girlfriend, who also shared the home of conductor Larry Gonzalez, reportedly was arrested on a charge of being an accessory to a felony, and reportedly is being questioned as part of another murder investigation in Nebraska.