Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer and Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine held a news conference Thursday morning to update the investigation into the officer-involved shooting that left a robbery suspect dead.
While the final decision will be up to a grand jury and Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine, Chief Schmaderer does not think the officer's actions were criminal.
Chief Schmaderer said that when Daniel Elrod robbed the Family Dollar at 13th and Hickory he had reached over the counter and took money from the cash drawer. Police released a still picture taken from a surveillance camera.
Schmaderer went on to explain that when officers made contact with Elrod two blocks north of the robbery, the entire incident played out in just one minute and 38 seconds.
The Police Chief says officers gave Elrod numerous commands to put his hands up and to get on the ground which Elrod ignored.
As the incident played out Elrod climbed on the hood of a car and told officers several times he had a weapon. Schmaderer says several times Elrod reached for his waistband.
Omaha Police Officer Alvin Lugod is the officer who shot Elrod. Schmaderer says Lugod was the main person communicating with Elrod during the entire incident. Officer Lugod did warn Elrod at several points he was going to be shot.
Asked whether this might be a case of "suicide by cop", Schmaderer says it is something they have to consider. He added that Elrod had been in police custody a day earlier and had apparently made comments that might be considered suicidal.
Chief Schmaderer also released some details from the preliminary autopsy on Elrod. It shows he had two wounds in the back and one in the shoulder.
The Chief said that as of Thursday morning police had no contact with any witnesses claiming to have seen the actual shooting. He urged people to come forward with information.
Thirty-nine-year-old Daniel Elrod has a criminal record that includes dozens of charges in multiple states dating back to the 1980s. In 2005, he plead guilty for failing to comply with an officer and felonious assault.
The attorney for Elrod's wife Amanda, questions Officer Alvin Lugod's use of deadly force when Elrod was unarmed. "I'm not saying at this early point that the shooting was unjustified. It would be premature to do that. But it would also be premature for the police chief to say that it's a justified shooting," said James Martin Davis.
Officer Lugod has been placed on paid administrative leave pending police investigation. In 2012, Lugod was one of two officers to fatally shoot another man, Jermaine Lucas, who police said reached for his gun. Davis said Lugod's history should raise red flags.
”The community needs to look at this one. Based on what's happened in the past and that this officer was in a shooting two years ago,” said Davis.