Sarpy County family recovering after unprovoked Fourth of July attack

It’s not yet known who targeted them and why.
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 10:26 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) - A random act of violence is caught on camera in a quiet neighborhood.

The bizarre attack by strangers leaves members of a Sarpy County family with serious injuries. It’s not yet known who targeted them and why. Investigators hope a video will lead to answers and arrests.

While enjoying a relaxed conversation with family on their own driveway, Jeff and Alex O’Brien never expected Fourth of July fireworks to be aimed at them.

“He came up and he was firing roman candles at us,” Jeff O’Brien said.

He says it was a teenager they’ve never seen before.

“Got up and just started yelling at him.”

That’s when a group of strangers charged in on Jeff while Alex rushes to his dad’s side. Two teenagers and two younger kids with two adults who appear to be a family all violently attack the O’Briens in front of their own home.

“There was a woman who had a roman candle stuck right at my face, right at my eye. I turned my head and she bounced that off the side of my head.”

Jeff was burned twice by roman candle shots. He also suffered four fractured ribs in the ensuing melee.

A neighbor’s Ring video shows the 61-year-old cancer survivor rushing back in to help his surrounded son. Jeff knocks down an attacker but gets kicked in the process.

‘The looks I saw in their faces. I saw evil. It looked like they came just to inflict damage on people.”

Alex tried to hold off the crazed family of attackers until he was blindsided.

“Literally came up from behind and hit me on the side here and got me down,” Alex O’Brien said. “And then from there one of the kids I had been tied up with just ended up kicking me and from there it was kind of lights out.”

The video ends and the violent strangers leave in a pickup just minutes before responding deputies arrive.

The sheriff’s investigator has circulated a photo of the attackers’ pickup to other law enforcement agencies.

“It’s really important to us that justice is served,” Sarpy County Sheriff Investigator Dave Larsen said, “That we can identify them and not let this happen to anybody else.”

After a day to celebrate freedom, the O’Briens are not free from fear.

“Not feeling safe in your own driveway, your own yard, that’s tough,” Jeff said.

Both Jeff and Alex O’Brien have ongoing treatment for their injuries.

Anyone who may recognize the people involved in the attack or the pickup they drove away in are urged to contact Sarpy County Crimestoppers.

Copyright 2022 WOWT. All rights reserved.