Officer Involved Investigation at 17810 West Center Road (Target) – Update

Officer Involved Investigation at 17810 West Center Road (Target) – Update
February 3rd, 2023 | OPD

Update 2/3/2023: The Omaha Police Department’s Officer Involved Investigations Team along with other law enforcement partners continue to thoroughly investigate this incident. We have provided a timeline of Tuesday’s incident below.

11:49 a.m. – Suspect arrives at Target in a personal vehicle.

11:56 a.m. – Suspect removes a cardboard shipping box from his vehicle and walks into the southeast grocery entrance wearing a dark colored coat and hat.

11:57 a.m. – Suspect walks to the pharmacy area. Shipping box was later found in this area.

11:58 a.m. – Suspect points the rifle at a Target employee. He then points the rifle in the air firing one round. Walks toward the front of the store and fires another two rounds.

11:59 a.m. – Suspect takes off his coat. He fires the rifle toward the self-checkout. He then fires at a drink cooler.

11:59 a.m. – Douglas County 911 receives the first 911 call to 17810 West Center Road for a “shooting”.

11:59 a.m. – First police unit is assigned the 911 call.

12:00 p.m. – Suspect enters the grocery entrance vestibule and fires multiple rounds inside the vestibule.

12:02 p.m. – Suspect briefly exits the store and then re-enters. He fires another round.

12:04 p.m. – Suspect walks west through the store still holding the rifle. 

12:05 p.m. – Officer Vanerheiden and a Nebraska State Trooper immediately enter the southwest GM entrance.

12:05 p.m. – Officer Vanderheiden and NSP Trooper make contact with the suspect who is still holding the rifle.

12:06 p.m. – Suspect is shot by Officer Vanderheiden.

Officer Vanderheiden and the NSP Trooper gave Mr. Jones over 20 loud verbal commands to drop the rifle. Mr. Jones said, “Come on!” three times during the verbal commands while refusing to drop the rifle. Mr. Jones then said, “I’ll kill you!”. Officer Vanderheiden then fired one round from his service handgun striking Mr. Jones, ultimately killing him. This entire interaction lasts approximately 15 seconds. Other responding law enforcement had arrived and a search for additional suspects and possible victims began throughout the store.

This is still an ongoing investigation and we are still determining a motive for Mr. Jones’ actions Tuesday. It is estimated there were approximately 250 guests and employees inside Target when this incident occurred. 

Pursuant to Nebraska Revised Statute 29-1401, this case will be presented to a grand jury once the investigation is completed. The law requires a grand jury be summoned when a death occurs while being apprehended or in custody by law enforcement.

The Omaha Police Department will adhere to the grand jury process outlined in Nebraska Revised Statute 29-1407.01 with regard to the release of any evidentiary exhibits to include Body Worn Camera footage and transcripts from a returned “no true bill” grand jury proceeding. Per the state statute found in subsection (C), a copy of the exhibits and transcript “shall be available for public review upon written request to the clerk of the district court”.

We would like to thank all of the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and the Omaha Fire Department for their quick response to this critical incident. Thank you to the Target employees for your bravery. We are thankful there were no additional lives lost. We offer our condolences to Mr. Jones’ family.


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