After Tragic Grain Elevator Shooting, Superior, Nebraska Leans on Faith

Oct. 22, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ·

Agrex Grain Elevator in Superior, Nebraska
The Agrex grain elevator in Superior, Nebraska. (Photo from Google Street View)

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Residents in the small town of Superior, Nebraska are still processing a tragic shooting Thursday afternoon that left three people dead at a grain elevator. The community in Nuckolls County is known as a peaceful, quiet place, and the murders have shocked residents.

Superior is a town of about 1,800 people right along the border with Kansas, and as local newspaper reporter Marty Pohlman puts it, it’s not a place where you’d expect something like this to happen.

“Quiet, rural, agricultural. Everyone knows pretty much everyone else,” Pohlman said. “The common refrain is, you don’t expect this to happen here. It just shows that workplace violence can happen anywhere.”

Pohlman works for the Superior Express, a weekly newspaper that covers the town and Nuckolls County. He said the county prides itself in never having a murder trial. On Thursday, that peace and quiet was shattered when a man who had been fired from his job at a local grain elevator returned to work and shot three people.Two of them died and he was killed by another employee.

“You go to work in the morning, you fully expect to leave in the afternoon and go home with your family. Then something like this happens. It puts everything in context,” Pohlman said.

As the Nebraska State Patrol opens an investigation into what happened, Pohlman said the community is coming together in a time of tragedy.

“This is a community with a very strong, faith-based ethos and I know there’s a prayer service organized for Sunday evening and people are turning to their churches and their pastors, banding together to work through this.”

Sunday evening’s prayer vigil is planned for the city park in Superior.