The 38-year-old Omaha man who dressed as a pirate and armed himself with a sword was drinking and apparently suicidal when he made the 911 call that brought police to his house.
Jonathan F. Martis' mother said her son told people he wanted to die. Martis was shot by police while wielding a sword.
Ruth Martis said she was told that her son was upset when he woke up Friday and realized he had survived the shooting.
Police arrived about 6:30 p.m. Thursday after Martis reported a disturbance at his home, 3312 X St.
Martis was armed with a 3-foot-long sword, police said. Officers commanded him to drop the sword, police said, but he refused and advanced on them.
Police said Friday that Martis was yelling for officers to shoot him, lowered his sword and pointed it towards officers as he got closer.
Officer Troy Hiller first used a Taser to no apparent effect, then shot Martis. Hiller shot him once, police said.
Ruth Martis, who lives in Washington County, said she has not talked to her son since the shooting. She said she had a phone conversation with him about an hour before it happened.
“He was having a bad day but I told him it was just that, a bad day, and that tomorrow would be better,” she said.
Jonathan Martis had threatened to commit suicide in the past and recently had been very down, she said.
He also might have stopped taking his medication for attention-deficit disorder in recent days and started drinking more, she said.
Jonathan Martis went to a store about 4:30 p.m. Thursday to make his daily purchase — a 12-pack of Keystone Ice, said his friend William Settje, 24.
Ruth Martis said her son was calling family members Thursday night “like he was trying to say goodbye.”
His brother got one of the calls and went to the South Omaha house, Ruth Martis said. Jonathan was wearing the pirate costume his mother made for him.
It had multiple layers, which she speculated might have reduced the effectiveness of the Taser.
The brother, whom she declined to name, told Ruth Martis that when Jonathan was hit by the Taser, he shook a little, then “cut through the (Taser) wires with his sword and came back at the cops.”
Police were still interviewing people and could not comment on Ruth Martis' account of events.
Hiller, who has been with the Police Department since the fall of 2004, is on administrative leave while the investigation continues.
Martis operates an engine repair business from the home. Ruth Martis said he was having trouble at work and had been fighting with his girlfriend.
Douglas County Court records show that Martis has a long criminal history.
He served a little over a year in prison for attempted first-degree assault and was released in March 2002.
He was sentenced to 90 days in jail in 2001 for driving under suspension. He was sentenced to 270 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to third offense drunken driving in 2000 and 90 days in jail for a protection order violation in 1999.
“It's sad. . . . I'm not faulting the cops,” Ruth Martis said. “When he gets better, I hope he goes to a mental health hospital and not jail.”
His condition at Creighton University Medical Center was not available.
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