Skip to comments.Shooting leaves Omaha police officer in critical condition
Posted on 08/21/2008 11:22:58 AM PDT by NEMDF
Omaha Police Officer Paul LatscharFahey asked that the citizens of Omaha pray for Latschar.
The 8-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department was shot and critically wounded last night in north Omaha.
Latschar is a member of the department's gang unit. He was wounded just before 11 p.m. during a traffic stop at 42nd Street and Camden Avenue.
The officer was hit in the lower abdomen and arm, according to people with knowledge of the officer's injuries who spoke on the condition that they not be identified.
Lt. Darci Tierney, a police spokeswoman, said two officers were conducting a traffic stop near 42nd and Camden. The sole occupant of the vehicle opened fire. One of the officers shot back.
Tierney said she thought the wounded officer was wearing body armor and was struck multiple times.
She said the alleged gunman was in custody. Police also said they recovered what was thought to be the weapon used. Police found the suspect hiding beside a house in the neighborhood after a chase.
Wednesday night's shooting at 42nd Street and Camden Avenue left an Omaha police officer in critical but stable condition.Tierney said she was uncertain whether the officers who made the traffic stop were in a marked cruiser.
Mayor Mike Fahey and Deputy Police Chief Mark Sundermeier came to the hospital to meet with the numerous police officers who also had gone there. A couple of police cruisers barreled up the emergency room ramp about 12:30 a.m. Latschar's wife also came to the hospital.
The shooting occurred 13 years to the day after Officer Jimmy Wilson Jr., a 24-year-old rookie officer, was shot to death in an ambush near 40th and Blondo Streets. Camden is about two miles north of Blondo.
Latschar was one of four Omaha police officers of the month in December 2005.
Near the shooting scene Wednesday night, neighbors said they heard 15 to 20 gunshots ring out.
Andre Jones, 35, said he was visiting a friend near 42nd and Camden, about seven blocks north of Ames Avenue. They were on the porch when he heard gunfire, Jones said.
Mayor Fahey's statement: "I'd like to ask the citizens of Omaha to keep Officer Paul Latschar and his family in their thoughts and prayers as he recovers from last night's shooting .
"This is another example of the dangerous work our officers perform to keep us safe, and I am hopeful for a speedy and full recovery."
The mayor said the shooting "demonstrates the cold-hearted disregard that some individuals have towards human life." He said he saw two people running near the intersection. Neither appeared to be a uniformed police officer.
Jones said it sounded like a gunfight.
"I just thought it was two fools shooting at each other," he said. "I ran and hid. . . . I hid by the side of the house. I dived, man."
Jones said he saw a third person who appeared to be chasing after the other two.
Bill Simet, 32, who also lives in the area, said he suddenly saw police cruisers descending on the intersection "just sirens and lights and squealing tires."
Police had been in the neighborhood earlier in the night, about 9:45 p.m., to investigate a shooting near 43rd Street and Laurel Avenue. There were reports of multiple gunshots in that incident as well.
"I feel it's awful if anyone gets shot, an officer or anyone," Jones said. "It's too bad there's got to be so much ignorance out here."
Residents said gun violence occurs too frequently in the neighborhood.
"I hope the cop is going to be OK," said Rashonda Stricklin, 32,. "I'm sure he has a wife. . . . I'm sure he never thought on a night on the job this would have happened to him."
Investigators remained on the scene as dawn approached this morning. Several blocks of Fontenelle Boulevard, 42nd Street, Camden Avenue and Fort Street remained blocked off.
Prayers for Officer Latschar.
omaha has been notorious gang country since that HBO special came out, "Bangin' in Omaha."
hope he recovers. glad they got the perp. hope he resisted.
We dreaded waking up this morning to the news that he had died, but prayers were answered and so far, so good. Creighton doctors gave him 20 units of blood and said he had minutes to spare when they brought him in. We have a good friend on the force, so we always worry. I wish they’d taken the SOB out, but we all know how the media turns on the good guys when that happens. Keep praying.
Tell the liberal idiots on the nebraska supreme court we need electrocution for cop killers
Prayers said for one of Omaha’s Finest and his family.
Prayers going up
According to TV and radio, they found a Ruger .44 revolver tossed away and are trying to tie it to the unarmed felon that they found hiding in some bushes. The felon hit the policeman once in the bulletproof vest, once in the arm, and once in the abdomen. The one in the abdomen also cut a bunch of large blood vessels that deliver blood to the legs.
The other policeman was unharmed. Between the two of them they fired 17 to 19 shots, none of which hit the felon. The policeman that was hit told his partner to chase the felon. He called on his radio for medical help and backup. Both policemen knew the guy was a felon and on parole when they decided to stop him. They should not have been surprised.