Omaha police said Friday the two robberies committed within a few blocks of one another and minutes apart Tuesday night were related. The woman arrested for one was an associate of the suspect killed in the other.
Twenty-four-year-old Jeneva Arias, arrested for the armed robbery of the Little Caesars Pizza at North Saddle Creek Road and California Street committed just after 9 p.m., knew suspected armed robber Cortez Washington, shot and killed by police about 15 minutes later at the Wendy's at 43rd and Dodge streets.
Police say evidence from the Little Caesars robbery was found inside a black 2000 Monte Carlo parked on 43rd Street just north of the Wendy's restaurant. The car was registered to Washington. The tip jar from the Little Caesars robbery was in the vehicle.
Also hit by police bullets was Bryce Dion, an audio supervisor for the TV show COPS, who along with a cameraman had followed police into the restaurant. Dion later died at the Nebraska Medical Center.
Investigators believe that Arias was to have been Washington’s getaway driver.
Detectives say she was armed with a gun at Little Caesars but it’s not clear if it was the same Airsoft pistol taken into Wendy's a short time later.
Omaha police also responded to a national media question Friday about the use of a police dog on Washington.
Officers say when he was on the ground the firearm was underneath him and, even though he was shot, they had no way of knowing if he could still use it so the K-9 forced him away from the gun and officers put Washington in cuffs.