The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Rob Langrell
Publisher of the Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Leasa Hlavinka: Husband 'was a doting father'

Sidney officers involved in shooting identified


Leasa Hlavinka, the Sidney dentist who was stabbed by her husband at their home Sunday night, blamed alcoholism for Dana Hlavinka’s actions.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday morning, Leasa Hlavinka said she is recovering well and anxious to leave the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colo. She was airlifted there after being stabbed in a domestic dispute at the couple’s home on Clark Drive near the Hillside Golf Course.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the negative light cast on Dana in this awful situation,” Hlavinka wrote in the Facebook post. “The media tends to pick out all the bad in a person’s life and focus our attention that way. However, please don’t forget the loving, caring human being who lost his life too early. Dana was a doting father and extraordinary care giver. He was a loving husband, son, uncle, brother, friend and daddy. Alcoholism is a sad and scary disease that takes many lives each year.

“Thank you to everyone for their positive thoughts and encouragement regarding our recent tragedy,” continued Hlavinka, who owns LifeSmiles of Sidney. “My physical injuries could have been much worse so I’m thankful to be in the shape I’m in. I’m surrounded by amazing family and friends that give me strength to heal both physically and emotionally.”

The two officers who entered the Hlavinkas’ home were Sgt. Chad Borgmann and Officer Austin Smith, according to Sidney Police Chief BJ Wilkinson. They have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

This is the first officer-involved fatal shooting for the Sidney Police Department since June 20, 2010. That was when 29-year-old Marko Antonio Panduro was shot by Officer Randy VerMaas following a domestic dispute at the home of Panduro’s girlfriend.

On Sunday, Dana Hlavinka – armed with a knife – was killed by gunfire from Sidney Police officers responding to a 911 call from the residence shortly before 7 p.m., according to Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub in a statement released after the altercation. As police arrived on scene, Leasa Hlavinka was seen bleeding from her wounds and running away from the residence.

The Hlavinkas’ two young children were not at home at the time of the incident, according to multiple sources familiar with the case but who asked not to be identified. Those same sources said the children were at Leasa Hlavinka’s mother’s home at the time because Leasa was telling her husband on Sunday that she wanted a divorce.

“There was no history of violence in our 14 years of marriage,” Hlavinka also included in her Facebook post. “Dana loved me and his children passionately. I ask you to remember the good in Dana and the beautiful legacy he left behind in his children.”

Corey O’Brien of the Nebraska Attorney General’s office has been appointed as the special acting county attorney in the case. The Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office and Nebraska State Patrol responded to the scene following the officer-involved shooting and are also investigating.


Reader Comments(3)

DeputyDog writes:

Hey Harley, As LE officers we are faced with split second decision making opportunities OTHERS put us in. This is not 1972 any more. Welcome to the future. Maybe we should be more concerned with those that put their lives on the line every day to protect than the gun toting knife wealding people who break laws, just s thought. Have a good one and God Bless the officers involved and the victims family.

TMStewart writes:

Mr. Cartwright, You have to understand what a Police officer is trained to do in such a situation. When confronted with an armed suspect that has already attempted to kill, training automatically takes over as it should. Hesitating to think about how to end the confrontation without using deadly force is a very good way to get an officer killed. Let's allow the investigation to determine the propriety of their actions. #BlueLivesMatter -Todd Stewart, Son and Grandson of Police officers

HarleyMan writes:

What is going on in Sidney..?? Police Officer shootings..?? I grew up in Sidney, leaving in 1972 for the Army... Never heard of such violence from the Sidney P.D. ever before. !! That P.D.needs to learn how to defuse situations by other means than using their guns... this is a national problem I never would have imagined trickling down to the quiet and quaint community of Sidney... Harley J. Cartwright Ex-resident


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