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Omaha police officer shot at Westroads Mall is recovering at home
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Omaha police officer shot at Westroads Mall is recovering at home

A suspect is in custody after a high speed chase on Interstate 80.

The Omaha police officer who was shot in the face and the top of his head on Friday by an alleged shoplifter is now recovering at home.

Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck, 39, is at home recuperating, the Omaha Police Department said Wednesday.

031821-owh-new-wittstruck-mug

Wittstruck

Wittstruck was shot Friday afternoon after a struggle with Kenya Lamont Jenkins Jr., authorities said. Jenkins is accused of pulling a gun out of his sweatshirt after Wittstruck tried to arrest him.

A GoFundMe account for Wittstruck and his family had raised more than $70,000 by Wednesday morning.

The shooting occurred in the security office at department store J.C. Penney after Wittstruck responded to a shoplifting call. Store security officers had detained Jenkins after he took a package of T-shirts, put them in his backpack and left without paying, Omaha police said.

Kenya Jenkins

Jenkins

Wittstruck was able to call dispatchers to report that he needed an ambulance just after 4 p.m. Soon after, additional Omaha police cruisers and Nebraska State Patrol troopers arrived to secure the area and search for the gunman.

Jenkins left on foot, then got into a white BMW, officials said. Nebraska state troopers from Lincoln who were arriving in Omaha to help with coverage spotted a sedan that matched the suspect vehicle description at Pump & Pantry gas station near the Gretna exit at Interstate 80.

When Jenkins saw the troopers, he drove west on I-80, going up to 145 mph, officials said. Troopers used stop sticks and were able to corner the sedan, which had left the Interstate at the Waverly exit. The BMW eventually got stuck on railroad tracks near U.S. Highway 6.

Jenkins was arrested. Authorities said they found a .380 Taurus handgun on him.

Jenkins was charged Monday with first-degree assault of an officer, use of a firearm to commit a felony and operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest. A judge set his bail at $10 million.


Omaha police officer shot at Westroads Mall

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