Omaha Police provide details of shooting officers in Westroads Mall

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Omaha Police released details of the shooting on Friday at Westroads Mall on Saturday.

Four shots were fired at Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck, which hit his face and the top of his head. The officer was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center in critical condition but is stable and recovering.

Kenya Lamont Jenkins Jr., 21, has been booked for attempted 1st degree murder and use of guns to commit a crime in Douglas County.

Mug shot of Kenya Jenkins Jr., Jan.(Nickerson, Ofcr Joseph (OPD) | PHOTO: Omaha Police Department)

Officer Wittstruck and Officer Joseph Kunza went to JC Penney’s store on Westroads Mall at 3:27 p.m. to find a man suspected of shoplifting and arrested by store security. A JC Penny loss prevention agent told officials Jenkins put a packet of T-shirts in his backpack and left the store without paying.

Initially, Jenkins gave the officers a fake name and they said he was not cooperative when asked to remove his backpack. When asked, Jenkins got up and put his right hand in the sweatshirt pocket.

Officer Wittstruck asked him to show his hands many times and they say he refused. The officer let Jenkins know he was arrested and they said Jenkins pushed Officer Wittstruck away when he tried to handcuff Jenkins.

There was a fight between Officer Wittstruck and Jenkins and the officer took out his taser and let Jenkins know he had a taser, but the probes were unsuccessful. In another fight between the officer and Jenkins, Jenkins pulled a gun from his sweatshirt pocket and fired four shots.

The officer fell to the ground and Jenkins ran out of the security office. Officer Wittstruck’s body camera recorded the entire incident, and the mall’s surveillance cameras caught Jenkins leaving and driving away in a white BMW S30i.

Omaha police released photos of gunfire in Westroads Mall on March 12, 2021.Omaha police released photos of gunfire in Westroads Mall on March 12, 2021.(PHOTO: Omaha Police Department)Omaha police released photos of gunfire in Westroads Mall on March 12, 2021.Omaha police released photos of gunfire in Westroads Mall on March 12, 2021.(PHOTO: Omaha Police Department)Omaha police released photos of gunfire in Westroads Mall on March 12, 2021.Omaha police released photos of gunfire in Westroads Mall on March 12, 2021.(PHOTO: Omaha Police Department)Omaha police released photos of gunfire in Westroads Mall on March 12, 2021.Omaha police released photos of gunfire in Westroads Mall on March 12, 2021.(PHOTO: Omaha Police Department)

JC Penny staff and Officer Kunza assisted Officer Wittstruck, and the Nebraska State Patrol created a perimeter around the mall. They say that Officer Wittstruck’s gun was not removed and not fired.

The Nebraska State Patrol found the BMW near the Pump and Pantry gas station at exit Gretna 432 at 5:22 p.m. There was a traffic obstruction as the car was traveling toward I-80 West at about 140 mph.

The BMW got stuck on railroad tracks after soldiers put stopping sticks on I-80 near the Waverly Junction. Jenkins got out of the car and drove onto Highway six after the car got stuck.

Jenkins was taken into custody and the soldiers found a Taurus .380 weapon. He was taken to the Omaha Police Headquarters and mentioned a minor leg injury.

The Omaha Fire Medics were called in and assisted with Jenkins’ injuries, but he was not rushed to the hospital.

We pray with Officer Wittstruck and his family for a full recovery. Thank you on behalf of all the Omaha police officers for your support and concern. Omaha police officers answer 911 calls throughout the day to keep Omaha safe. It is important to remember the dangers officers face every time they call. Calls that need to be answered because someone has been in need.

Officer Wittstruck has been with the Omaha Police since September 2016.

This is a developing story. 6 messages will continue to be updated.

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