OPD: West Omaha Target shooter killed by officer

Officers were dispatched to a Target store in west Omaha Tuesday after reports of shots fired. The area is secure at this time.
Tuesday, January 31st 2023, 1:00 PM CST

OMAHA, Neb. -- Officers were dispatched to a Target store in west Omaha Tuesday after reports of shots being fired.

The call came in around midday Tuesday. According to Lt. Neal Bonacci from the Omaha Police Department, an armed shooter with an AR-15 and ammunition entered the store at 178th and W. Center and fired "multiple rounds." Bonacci said an OPD officer entered the store before confronting and killing the shooter, described as a white male in his 30s.

According to officials, officers issued numerous loud verbal commands ordering the suspect to drop the rifle. An Omaha Police officer then fired their service handgun striking the suspect who was declared deceased by Omaha Fire Department personnel as a result of the incident.

In a tweet around 12:22 p.m.the Omaha Police said, "Officers are clearing the store at this time. An unknown number of victims as the investigation is in the early stages."

In a follow-up tweet at 12:52 p.m. Omaha Police said the scene was secure but urged residents to void the area. 

The FBI was reportedly checking cars in the parking lot, and officers had conducted a thorough search of the store three times before declaring the scene safe. 

Omaha Police officials said at 1:25 p.m. that they believed the shooter was the only victim located. He said there were no reported victims inside the store or at area hospitals.

"Our officers showed up and did what we're trained to do," Bonacci said. "These incidents are happening in our country too often."

Bonacci said he did not believe there was another shooter, and he said there was no immediate threat to the public.

Target confirmed in a tweet that no customers were injured in the incident.

It’s been 16 years since Omaha’s first mass shooting at the Von Maur Department store at Westroads Mall, which found eight people killed along with the 19-year-old shooter.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert commended the quick response by authorities in a statement:

“Omaha Police saved many lives today by their quick actions to prevent a mass casualty event at Target. Omaha Police officers are highly trained to respond to and assess life-threatening situations. Their bravery and high level of skill should be commended.”

OPD credited Target employees for their efforts, noting that the store had recently undergone active shooter training.

According to officials, Douglas County 911 received at least twenty-nine (29) 911 calls regarding this incident. 

OPD said anyone who was at the scene during the incident who did not speak with officers should call 402-444-4877 to share any information they may have about the incident. The investigation is ongoing. 

Authorities have named the shooter as 32-year-old Joseph Jones, of Omaha.