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Omaha Police give details on officer shooting at Westroads Mall

Omaha Police Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck
Omaha Police Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck(Omaha Police Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck)
Published: Mar. 13, 2021 at 12:34 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha Police give details Saturday of Friday’s officer shooting at Westroads Mall.

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

Kenya Lamont Jenkins Jr.,21 was booked to Douglas County on charges of 1st-degree attempted murder and use of weapon to commit a felony.

Mugshot of Kenya Jenkins Jr., 21
Mugshot of Kenya Jenkins Jr., 21(Nickerson, Ofcr Joseph (OPD) | PHOTO: Omaha Police Department)

Officer Wittstruck and Officer Joseph Kunza went to the JC Penney’s store in Westroads Mall at 3:27 p.m. for a man accused of shoplifting and was being detained by store security. A JC Penny’s loss prevention employee told officers Jenkins put a package of t-shirts in his backpack and left the store without paying.

Initially, Jenkins gave a fake name to the officers and they say he wasn’t being cooperative when asked to remove his backpack. When asked Jenkins stood up and place his right hand in his sweatshirt pocket.

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

There was a struggle between Officer Wittstruck and Jenkins and the officer took out his taser and let Jenkins know that he had a taser but the probes were unsuccessful. In another struggle between the officer and Jenkins, Jenkins pulled out 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 security cameras caught Jenkins leaving and driving away in a white BMW S30i.

Omaha Police release photos of Westroads Mall shooting on 3/12/2021.
Omaha Police release photos of Westroads Mall shooting on 3/12/2021.(PHOTO: Omaha Police Department)
Omaha Police release photos of Westroads Mall shooting on 3/12/2021.
Omaha Police release photos of Westroads Mall shooting on 3/12/2021.(PHOTO: Omaha Police Department)
Omaha Police release photos of Westroads Mall shooting on 3/12/2021.
Omaha Police release photos of Westroads Mall shooting on 3/12/2021.(PHOTO: Omaha Police Department)
Omaha Police release photos of Westroads Mall shooting on 3/12/2021.
Omaha Police release photos of Westroads Mall shooting on 3/12/2021.(PHOTO: Omaha Police Department)

The JC Penny employees and Officer Kunza assisted Officer Wittstruck and the Nebraska State Patrol created a perimeter around the mall. They say Officer Wittstruck’s gun wasn’t removed and wasn’t fired.

The Nebraska State Patrol found the BMW near the Pump and Pantry gas station by the Gretna 432 exit at 5:22 p.m. There was a traffic stop due to the car speeding about 140 miles per hour driving towards I-80 west.

The BMW got stuck on railroad tracks after troopers put stop sticks near the Waverly intersection on I-80. Jenkins got out of the car and onto Highway six after the car got stuck.

Jenkins was taken into custody and troopers found a Taurus .380 gun. He was taken to the Omaha Police Headquarters and mention a minor leg injury.

The Omaha Fire Medics were called and assisted in Jenkins’ injuries but he wasn’t taken to the hospital.

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

This is a developing story. 6 News will continue to give updates.

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