(Omaha, NE) -- The Omaha Police Department releases more details about a Thursday afternoon officer-involved shooting in South Omaha.
OPD says just after 2:30 Thursday afternoon, officers Josiah Warren and Aaron Thompson responded to a 911 disturbance call at a home near 41st Avenue and Hillsdale. The caller, 37 year old Justin Michalak, exclaimed he was having a disturbance with his mother who he said was possessed and controlling him with her mind. The 911 call-taker could hear a disturbance in the background and as officers arrived at the location they observed a distressed woman, 66 year old Deborah Michalak, near the front sidewalk screaming ‘please help, he’s cutting his throat’.
Investigators say Deborah then went inside the house and continually yelled ‘help me’. OPD say the officers followed Deborah into the home and saw Justin, Deborah's son, sitting in a chair, wearing a blood-soaked shirt and holding a knife. Police say Justin was screaming and cutting himself near his throat with the knife. Omaha Police say at that time, Deborah began struggling with Justin and Officer Warren commanded Justin to drop the knife.
OPD says Justin repeatedly screamed ‘shoot me’ and began to stand up with the knife in his hand, moving toward Officer Warren. Investigators say Officer Warren deployed his taser, but Justin refused to drop the knife. According to an OPD media release, Justin then charged toward Officer Warren and as he lunged with the knife, Officer Warren deployed his taser a second time.
The release goes on to say:
Justin went to the floor but remained combative and attempted to rush toward both officers again while they moved backward outside the front door.
As the front glass door closed Justin was screaming and officers saw him rush toward Deborah in an aggressive manner with the knife. Both officers commanded Justin to drop the knife but instead he grabbed Deborah and raised the knife toward her upper body. Officer Warren fired one shot from his service weapon through the glass door and Justin was struck in the left cheek. Justin and Deborah both fell to the floor and officers rushed to get Deborah safely outside and render aid to Justin.
Officers advised dispatch and called for medics while Justin continued to scream and remained combative. Justin rose to his feet and charged the officers again through the door and into the side yard. Justin tackled Officer Thompson and both officers struggled with Justin while he verbally threatened to kill them. Backup officers arrived and assisted taking Justin into custody. Officers rendered first aid until Omaha Fire Department medics arrived and transported Justin to the Nebraska Medical Center in serious condition.
Justin sustained one gunshot wound through his cheek and several self-inflicted lacerations to his neck area; his injuries are not considered life threatening at this time. The incident was recorded on the officers’ body worn cameras and is being investigated by the Omaha Police Department’s officer-involved investigations team in conjunction with the Nebraska State Patrol and the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Agency. This is an ongoing investigation and Chief Schmaderer has authorized the release of the attached still photographs from the officer’s body camera.
KFAB news has not published the body camera photos, due to their graphic nature.