North Omaha neighborhoods coping with streak of violence

Police chief says OPD is ‘taking proactive steps,’ notes low number of homicides for the year
Early Wednesday morning, gunfire in multiple locations sent three people to area hospitals.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 3:34 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - More gunfire in north Omaha adds to the string of shootings that have claimed the lives of four people over the last few days.

Early Wednesday morning, gunfire in multiple locations sent three people to area hospitals. Omaha Police also reported that four vehicles and a business were damaged by the latest round of gunfire.

Workers at the NP Mart on 56th and Ames were busy replacing windows shattered by bullets early Wednesday morning. Management said they are doing everything they can to keep their employees and customers safe.

Anne Gordon, general manager of Chubbs Foods and Grocery, said she’s also doing more to keep her employees safe, like replacing shot-out windows with bulletproof glass.

“I’ve got security seven days a week. I’ve got bulletproof glass. We’ve got the best surveillance in town — OPD knows that. So, I’m doing everything in my ability,” she said. “If I could provide more, I would.”

But that can’t stop what’s happening on the streets.

“I was told between 70 and 80 shell casings were recovered between Ames Avenue and here,” Gordon said. “The store was shot by the gunfire when they were shooting but then the victim ran inside the store.”

Police said a passenger in a car traveling down Ames Avenue was also injured when they were hit by gunfire.

More shots were fired a few miles away at a home near 24th and Ellison. The front of the house was riddled with bullets.

Pastor Portia Cavitt leads Clair Memorial United Methodist Church. Her church is right next door to the business that was damaged by gunfire.

“No, we don’t need this, and I’m not sure where it’s all stemming from and who is actually doing; but we have to regard life a little bit better,” Pastor Cavitt said. “Bullets don’t really have anyone’s name on it. They just fly everywhere, and innocent people can be getting hurt.”

In a statement sent Wednesday afternoon, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said OPD has made three arrests in the recent rash of shootings.

Noting that 2022 has been a low year for homicides, Chief Schmaderer said spikes in violent crimes are not uncommon and that OPD has a plan to intervene.

“The Omaha Police Department is entrenched in addressing the recent spike in violence in our community. We are working diligently and taking proactive steps to keep our community safe by redeploying our resources and bolstering our response with the assistance of our law enforcement partners.

Spikes in violent crime are not uncommon and the OPD has a game plan to intervene; it is important to note that 2022 has been a low year for homicides, even considering the current spike. I want to thank our community partners for assisting us in getting a handle on the spike in violent crime and to Crime Stoppers for the tips we have been receiving.”

Statement from Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer

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