A man reported to be suicidal wounded by Omaha police was hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday afternoon.
Police were called to North 124th Street and Burt Plaza shortly after 12 p.m. to check on the well-being of a 28-year-old man. "When officers arrived, it was transmitted there was an armed party with a knife that was threatening suicide last seen walking southbound," said Omaha Police Lt. Darci Tierney.
Police say they encountered Oliver Halverson, 28, in the back yard of a home holding a knife. Initial radio reports said police tired to use a Taser to stop him, but that didn't work so an officer used his handgun.
OPD detectives are in the early stages of this investigation and plan to release more details on Thursday.
"I've never anticipated anything like this could ever happen around here, it's really a quiet neighborhood," said resident Jodi Ramold. "I've never had any issues while I've lived here. To hear that happen in my back yard is pretty shocking. I'm glad I wasn't home, I have a 7-year-old son, course he is in school, but just something like that is traumatic to even hear a gunshot.”
Ramold, a case worker herself, says it's hard to speculate what's in people's minds and hopes this will be just an isolated incident. “I know when I see that many police, something serious has happened. It's too bad, I'm sure this gentleman needed a lot of help that he probably wasn't getting.”
An internal investigation will be done as is police procedure whenever an officer discharges a firearm resulting in injury or death.
“I see both sides of it, but I also know that the police department has to do what they have to do to keep everyone safe, including themselves," said Ramold.