Kenneth D. Gunia was visiting his girlfriend at her apartment Tuesday and stepped outside for a while.
When his girlfriend couldn’t find him, she called his cellphone, then searched her apartment.
Just after 10:20 p.m., she looked out her window to the parking lot of her Mason School Apartments near 24th and Mason Streets.
She spotted an SUV driving out of the lot and ran down to Gunia’s parked car.
Her 40-year-old boyfriend was sitting inside his car, suffering from a gunshot wound. He died later at the Nebraska Medical Center.
His girlfriend, who didn’t want to be identified out of fear that the shooter could return, told emergency responders that the shooting might have been drug related.
She said she doesn’t have any firsthand knowledge that drugs were involved, but Gunia had a history of using drugs. He wasn’t a heavy user, she said, and he wasn’t caught up in any trouble. She said her boyfriend also could be the random victim of violence.
A witness told police that the shooter was on foot when he fired at Gunia and left in a vehicle. No arrests had been made by Wednesday morning.
Ginger Lighthill of Waverly said her son showed no signs of drug use other than a drug possession conviction in Iowa.
Lighthill said her son was a graduate of Hastings (Neb.) High School. For most of his adult life, he lived in Kansas, in the Junction City and Manhattan areas. He moved to Omaha a few years ago with a woman.
Gunia did maintenance at an apartment complex in Sarpy County near Highway 370, according to his parents.
He is survived by two children, Jacob, 19, and Paige, 16.