Westroads Mall shooting: Shoppers wary after 2nd Omaha mall incident

An Omaha Police Officer is still recovering after a March 12 shooting at the mall.
Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 3:40 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - As police worked to clear the threat at Westroads Mall, people inside were making their way out.

“All we heard the first time was a few gunshots, like pop-pop-pop,” Amanda said. “And then we just kind of froze, kind of looked the other way and we heard pop-pop-pop. Then we looked and everybody scattered, and we went for the nearest store.”

Amanda is the only name this woman felt comfortable giving us. She’s in town for the weekend with her kids and grandkids from Watertown, S.D.

“We talked about this coming in. We were like, you know, ‘What do we do if we’re in a shooting... if there’s a shooting?’ I said what do we know and no s--t, this happens today,” she said.

In the parking lot, people gathered trying to process what they saw and heard.

Sangeetha was in Westroads Mall getting her eyebrows threaded. She said she heard the gunshots, then saw people running into stores, trying to take cover.

“People was running, and they are like coming inside the shop, ‘Gunshots! Save yourself!’ Then everybody go inside the room and just like lock the door and praying to God,” Sangeetha said.

With this latest incident on the heels of a shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx, it has a group of young adults questioning whether anywhere is safe.

“All I got to say is, I’m not coming back here because I don’t want that to happen to me,” Alyha Wills said.

Erik Fisher added: “ ‘cause this is the second shooting within a short period of time.”

OPD Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck is still recovering after a shooting at Westroads Mall on March 12. Four shots were fired at him, hitting his face and the top of his head.

A friend with the group outside Westroads on Saturday didn’t want to give her name, but shared a similar sentiment.

“It’s the morning time. People bringing their kids — it’s a public mall. Even if it wasn’t the morning, people bringing their kids — there’s pregnant people in there. All that.”

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