According to Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer, a white man in his 30s entered the store and opened fire, but it was unclear who he was aiming at. A local worker named Lauren Murphy was taking a break in the front bathroom when she heard gunfire. Despite warnings to “run or stay,” he hid in the bathroom, propped his feet up, and texted his loved ones. He heard the wailing of a baby next to him.
Murphy, now 21, said, “I was afraid I would die on the job. “He continued by describing how he was trying to conceal himself by keeping his feet off the floor by holding on to the side of the toilet. The first shots were heard by Samuel Jacobsen, another 21-year-old employee, while he was making a personal purchase. He was distracted, but he couldn’t stop working because of what he heard.
Then, one of my coworkers rushed up and yelled, “He’s got a gun, get out!” That which Jacobsen has said. I just can’t believe it, oh my God. There is no time to lose; I must leave immediately.
He sent a text to see how his coworkers were doing while he hid behind the store.
Kathy Mahana, one of the customers, said that there was “pure panic” in the store. The 62-year-old grandmother was near the store’s entrance buying Valentine’s Day presents for her family when she heard a loud bang. Upon looking around, he was certain that something had crashed to the floor, but then he noticed everyone dash for the exit.
When someone yelled out that a gunman was in the area, he quickly left the area. In addition to the several shots he heard outside, he heard at least one more inside the shop. Mahana was so frightened that she jumped into a car with a complete stranger rather than trying to find her own vehicle.
There were gunshots in the parking lot, and my first thought was, “Where am I hiding?” I’m at a loss for words!” he sobbed. A minimum of 29 calls to 911 were received around noon, according to the city’s police chief, and officers responded to the store shortly after. The police departments in Omaha and Nebraska arrived first. It was the first responding officers who “broke into the building, confronted the suspect, and shot him,” as Schmaderer put it.
He had an AR-15 and a large supply of bullets.
Police in Omaha say the suspect was ordered to drop his weapon several times before an officer opened fire, killing him instantly. ATF spokesman John Hamm said that the availability of alcoholic beverages, firearms, and explosives in the area prompted the evacuation of residents. Hamm said the ATF is looking into the provenance of firearms to determine whether or not they were used in any other crimes.
Target spokesman Brian Harper-Tibaldo said in a statement that all customers and employees were able to safely evacuate the building. Lt. Neil Bonacci, the police department’s spokesman, said that officers are trained to enter dangerous situations swiftly in order to minimise the number of casualties.
Even though it’s unfortunate that this is happening in other places, “we’ve learned a lot from other jurisdictions, other counties, and other cities,” he said. The two of us will enter as soon as possible. It’s something most of us learn as children. We can enter the building with one worker or ten, and we will still be able to remove all threats. Several more shootings have broken out at stores across the country in recent months, adding to the public’s growing anxiety about the prevalence of mass shootings.
A woman was shot and killed in an Evansville, Indiana, Walmart in January. According to their findings, the actions of a worker and a police officer prevented a much more dire outcome. Minutes later, police arrived and fatally shot the perpetrator. In a November shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, six people were killed when store managers opened fire in the staff break room. In addition to the fatalities, six others were injured.
The shooter killed himself before police could arrive.
An unidentified young man, 18, killed 10 and injured 3, after he robbed and opened fire inside a grocery store in a predominantly black neighbourhood of Buffalo, New York. Law enforcement officials promptly labelled the incident as a hate crime. In December 2007, a 19-year-old gunman opened fire inside a Maur department store in Omaha, NE, killing eight people and himself. Last time there was a shooting was over 15 years ago.
In Nebraska, you can openly carry your firearm, even an assault rifle, if you don’t have a record prohibiting gun ownership and you’re not in a restricted area. To legally conceal a firearm in Nebraska, a person must first take a gun safety course, submit to fingerprinting, and go through a background check by the State Patrol.
State Senator Tom Brewer, a Republican from Gordon, has introduced a bill to make it legal to transport contraband in unmarked bags. Moreover, the act would prevent local governments from enacting regulations that are more stringent than those mandated by the state. Twenty-five people have signed up to work on the proposal together.
Jacobsen, the shop clerk, argued that gun control laws should be made more stringent, not loosened. He claims he heard the region was quite secure while growing up there. The shooting on Tuesday, however, “really made us realise that it could happen anywhere.”