Two Omaha police officers are on paid administrative leave while the department investigates whether they acted properly when they shot and killed a man Sunday morning.
Officers in the area of 30th and Pratt streets who heard gunshots at 2:18 a.m. soon encountered an armed man and opened fire, killing 29-year-old Jermaine Lucas.
“The officers turned on to Pratt Street from 30th traveling eastbound and witnessed a person running towards them with their hands claps around his waistband," said Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer during a news conference Sunday afternoon.
Seconds later, the officers spotted a car driving in reverse towards them. They said the car stopped next to Lucas and he attempted to get inside, but it sped away without him. Officers said Lucas then dropped to his knees.
“A gun falls to the ground approximately three feet away,” said Chief Schmaderer. “The officers give Lucas numerous verbal commands to stop and not move. Officers state that at this time Lucas lunges for his weapon and they become in fear of their lives and their partner’s lives. Both officers discharge their service weapon multiple times and we believe striking Mr. Lucas.”
The officers involved were Alvin Lugod and Joseph Koenig. Both are 28 years old and began their careers with OPD in 2008.
Lucas, who was in Omaha on a 48-hour furlough from the Community Corrections Center in Lincoln, had a long criminal history dating back to 2002 that included domestic assault, marijuana possession, indecent exposure, driver's license suspension, trespassing and receiving stolen property. He was in the process of serving five to eight years in prison for being a felon in possession of a gun.
A grand jury will also review the incident to evaluate whether the officers acted properly. “It is the joint responsibility between the Omaha Police Department, the Omaha community and the criminal justice community to make our community safer," said Chief Schmaderer.