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T-shirt shoplifting suspect arrested in shooting of officer

March 13, 2021 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha police officer was shot and wounded during a confrontation with a man who was suspected of shoplifting T-shirts, authorities say.

Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck, who was struck in the face and the top of his head, was “stable and recovering,” officials said midday Saturday. And 21-year-old Kenya Lamont Jenkins Jr. was booked into the Douglas County Jail earlier in the day on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder and use of a gun to commit a felony, the Omaha World-Herald reports.

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Omaha police said the shooting happened around 4 p.m. Friday after Wittstruck went to the JC Penney department store security office, where Jenkins had been detained.

Police said a struggle ensued after Jenkins put his right hand in his sweatshirt and refused to show his hands. Wittstruck used a Taser, but the probes were ineffective. Police said the struggled ended with Jenkins pulling a gun from his sweatshirt pocket and firing four shots.

Police said Wittstruck, whose body-worn camera was recording, never took his gun out of its holster. Jenkins was arrested after fleeing in a vehicle.

Police said Jenkins “has a history” of resisting arrests and escape. He has no direct ties to the Omaha area and has not been charged with any crime in Nebraska.