By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily
An off-duty Wyoming prison guard was life-lighted after being shot in the belly in Nebraska on Thursday by a man whom authorities think is his cousin, according to area police.
Martin Maldonado Jr., 34, an officer at the Wyoming Department of Corrections in Torrington, was shot once in the abdomen by 35-year-old Alexander J. Maldonado on Thursday afternoon in Scottsbluff, Neb., according to a statement by the Scottsbluff Police Department.
The shooting occurred at a grocery store.
Alexander Maldonado was arrested and charged with attempted murder, use of a firearm to commit a felony, prohibited person in possession of a firearm, and discharging a firearm within city limits, the statement says. He was taken to the Scottsbluff County Jail.
There was only one shot fired in the incident. However, Capt. Lance Kite of the Scottsbluff Police Department told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that there was a “disturbance” between the two just prior to the shooting.
“We believe they’re cousins,” said Kite. “We’re pretty certain about it.”
Police are still investigating the incident, he added, and the question of who attacked whom first.
No charges have been filed against Martin Maldonado. He was life-flighted to Denver after being taken initially to a Nebraska hospital.
Alexander Maldonado was not allowed to have a firearm at the time, Kite said, because there is a protection order against him. Kite did not say whom the protection order was filed to protect.
Police were called to the shooting scene at about 5:12 Thursday evening.
Martin Maldonado is from Scottsbluff, the statement reads, and his alleged shooter is from Gering, Neb.
A statement from the Wyoming Department of Corrections released Friday contained much less information, noting that the shooting occurred while Martin Maldonado was not on duty, and he remains hospitalized.
Martin Maldonado became an officer at the Torrington prison in March of 2019, according to his Facebook page.