Gothenburg, NE – Gothenburg Police Officer Jill Larson was fatally shot by her husband at their home on June 7.
A relative discovered the bodies of the 53-year-old veteran officer and her 52-year-old husband, Jeff McCandless, at approximately 9p.m. the next day, and alerted police, the Kearney Hub reported.
Investigators said they believe Jeff murdered Officer Larson, then fatally shot himself, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
The Dawson County Attorney’s Office and the Nebraska State Patrol are handling the ongoing investigation into the murder-suicide.
Officer Larson joined the Gothenburg Police Department in 2007, and became the third woman to ever serve on the city’s police force, according to her obituary.
“Jill was considered by many to be one of the best police officers this community has ever had,” the City of Gothenburg said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“She had the unique ability to diffuse situations that were out of control,” the city’ post read. “Jill was a leader, a counselor to those in need, a protector of those who needed protection, and most importantly a friend to many.”
Officer Larson was known for her “by the book” personality, and was a proactive officer, the city said.
She was also a cook at the local school cafeteria, and worked a side job as a lifeguard and swimming pool manager in the summers, according to her obituary.
The 12-year veteran-of-the-force “was a very hard working Police Officer and was very well respected by her coworkers, supervisors, fellow City employees, other agencies and citizens,” her obituary read.
Officer Larson leaves behind her three children, three stepchildren, and six grandchildren, as well as her mother, brothers, and nephews.
“She will be greatly missed by all of the city employees, but most importantly by those that she served with in the Gothenburg Police Department,” the City of Gothenburg said. “Please pray for the family, the first responders, the Gothenburg Police Department, and for all of those whose lives are affected by this tragic loss.”
Officer Larson will be laid to rest on Saturday, according to her obituary.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Gothenburg Police Officer Jill Larson, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.