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Omaha police officer Brian Vanderheiden shot and killed gunman Joseph Jones during active shooter situation at West Omaha Target

The 20-year veteran of the force is a hero.



Officer Brian Vanderheiden, a 20-year-veteran with the Omaha Police Department, shot and killed the man accused of shooting an AR-15 style rifle at a West Omaha Target store. Vanderheiden is on paid leave, according to officials.

The active shooter situation that occurred on Tuesday at a Target store in Omaha has resulted in the identification of the suspect who was shot and killed by police officers.

Joseph M. Jones, age 32, was armed with an AR-15-style weapon and thirteen filled rifle magazines when he opened fire inside the store. He also fired additional shots inside the store.

According to the Omaha police department, Officer Brian Vanderheiden, who has 20 years of experience, was the one who shot Jones. According to the department’s statement, Vanderheiden has been placed on administrative leave that is compensated.

According to the reports of the Omaha police, Jones purchased the gun at a Cabela’s about four days before the event.

Images taken on Tuesday by law enforcement officers using body cameras and security cameras were also made public.

The Omaha Police Department Officer Involved Investigations Team, assisted by the Sarpy and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, is investigating an incident that occurred at the Target at 17810 West Center Road Tuesday. OPD officers and law enforcement personnel from various county, state and federal agencies responded to a report of an active shooter inside the Target at 11:59 a.m.

OPD Uniform Patrol officers and a Nebraska State Trooper arrived at the Target and entered the store where they encountered a white male suspect armed with a rifle. 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.

The subsequent investigation revealed that the male suspect had fired multiple shots inside Target, and was in possession of an AR-15 style rifle and thirteen (13) loaded rifle magazines.

Following the confrontation with the suspect, officers conducted a thorough search of the store three times before declaring the scene safe. Officers did not locate any victims of gunfire, and as of the time of this press release, no victims have arrived at local hospitals. During the search officers located bullet casings inside the store.

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

OPD urges anyone who was at the scene during the incident who did not speak with officers to call 402-444-4877 to share any information you may have about the incident.

The suspect will be identified once our department is able to appropriately notify next of kin.

The investigation is ongoing. Additional updates will be released by the OPD Public Information Office.