One dies, another injured in Omaha Mall shooting; suspects seen fleeing on video


OMAHA, Neb. (NBC/WOWT) – Omaha police are looking for two suspects who shot a man and a woman around noon on Saturday, Omaha police said.

The male victim was rushed to Creighton University Medical Center – Bergan Mercy’s Level 1 Trauma Center in Omaha, where he later died, while the female was taken to CHI Health Immanuel in Omaha by private vehicle with a minor  injury to the leg. Police said the female victim walked into the hospital with a gunshot wound and said she had been shot at Westroads Mall.

According to the initial report on the shooting, Omaha Police said shots were fired on the first floor of the mall near the JCPenney store.

“The investigation indicates this was an isolated incident and not a random attack,” the OPD release states. “The suspects fled the scene immediately after the shooting,” the report said.

In his first public statement, Neil Bonacci with OPD’s information office said Omaha Police and other agencies were looking for two suspects.

“This wasn’t an active shooter situation; however, our department, just taking precautions, treated it as so,” Neil Bonacci with OPD’s information office said just after 2 p.m.

Much of the mall parking lot was cleared out by 1:35 p.m., with many emergency vehicles clearing out by 2:22 p.m., when the OPD forensics team arrived at the scene.

Some witnesses were taken downtown for questioning, Bonacci said. In the parking lot, people gathered trying to process what they saw and heard..

The victims were shot outside of JCPenney in “one of the longer hallways” between stores, Bonacci said.

OPD had no preliminary descriptions of the suspects at the time of Bonacci’s update, but mall video footage showed suspects fleeing from the mall, Bonacci said

Police are working to identify the suspects. Any descriptions of the suspects or a vehicle will be distributed to the public as police are able, Bonacci said.

It is unclear yet what motivated the shooting, police said.

Officers methodically searched the mall, Bonacci said, and people were locked in at different stores during the incident.

“It appeared that mall security, employees, and management were doing what they were told to do in these situations: lock their doors and ensure the safety of not just themselves but also the customers as well,” he said.

Bonacci said detectives are still processing the scene, so the mall remains an active crime scene and would be shut down for the rest of the day.

Investigators are looking through security footage and other video to narrow down information about any possible suspects, he said.

According to Bonacci, Westroads’ management said the mall would be “more than likely” be open normal business hours on Sunday.

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