Off-duty Omaha Police officer shoots at burglary suspect's vehicle

Omaha Police say an off duty officer shot at a burglary suspect Wednesday night.

The Omaha Police Department says just after 6:45 Wednesday night, an off-duty officer was shopping at the Home-Depot at 144th & Maple Street when he was alerted to a shoplifter. Investigators say the officer walked after the suspect, who had a shopping cart full of items, and as the officer attempted to contact the driver, the vehicle fled. OPD says the officer then fired one shot at the suspect's vehicle.

OPD says detectives interviewed witnesses, who stated they observed the suspect leaving the store with unpaid merchandise. At that time, police say one of the employees yelled that the suspect was leaving without paying, which alerted the off-duty officer, who was at the register. Investigators say the witnesses said they heard the officer identify himself as a police officer as the suspect ran from the store, who then got into a dark-colored SUV that was parked in the front lot. Witnesses said the off-duty officer approached the vehicle's front passenger side, which was facing west in the lot. They said the vehicle then left the parking stall, almost striking the officer.

Police say that is when the officer, who was armed with an off-duty handgun, fired once at the vehicle. OPD says both witnesses said the officer shot at the vehicle's tire and not at the driver. Omaha Police say at this time, they do not believe the suspect was injured.

OPD says detectives were able to recover a still photo of the suspect while he was in the store and have a tentative identification. They are working in conjunction with the Burglary Unit and will seek a warrant for his arrest. The Omaha Police Officer-Involved Investigations Team investigates incidents in which an officer discharges their firearm. In accordance with the Nebraska State Patrol agreement, their investigators are assisting with the investigation.

The Omaha Police Department says they will release any additional information as it becomes available.

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