New Details in Officer Involved Shooting
Photo: Video by kmtv.com
New details emerge about the moments officers opened fire on a man who was holding a child, carrying a shotgun, and making threats.
Police captured more than 20 minutes of the situation on a cruiser camera in what they say is "laser sharp video". The man, 31-year-old Tyree Bell, apparently used his son as what police call "a human shield". Bell's fiancée says it didn't need to happen.
The officer involved shooting happened on January 1st at around 6am at a home near 42nd & Pratt St. Police say Bell was suicidal and wouldn't release his three-year-old son. Several times, he came on the porch pointing a shotgun at officers, and holding his son in front of him. Police say he later came out alone with a shotgun and a pellet rifle, while leaving his son inside. That's when four officers shot him multiple times.
"It was an emotional, it was a graphic video,” OPD Chief Todd Schmaderer explained. "In this instance, Mr. Bell was armed, he was involved in a domestic disturbance, he was extremely agitated, he displayed suicidal actions and words, and was using his son a human shield."
The officers who fired their weapons are Ofc. Alan Peatrwosky who is a seven year veteran of the force, Ofc. Carl Hanson who is a 12-year veteran, Ofc. Chithauta Hester who has been with the Omaha force for four years, and Ofc. Douglas Arrick who is also a four year veteran.
Police say the shotgun wasn't loaded. Bell's fiancee, Levette Spracher, got out of the house before he was shot. She says he tried to surrender, and she told police the weapon wasn't loaded.
"I thought it was terrible they didn't have to shoot him, they didn't have to shoot him,” Spracher described. "Four cops shot him multiple times, honestly for real?"
Bell has a criminal history including weapons violations and domestic violence charges. He also dealt with mental health issues and had briefly taken medication to help.
It's the second officer involved shooting in six weeks where the suspect was suicidal and had mental health issues. KMTV Action 3 News asked Chief Schmaderer if policy changes need to be made for dealing with this situation. He said he doesn't see any changes being made. OPD would not release the Cruiser Cam video.
A grand jury will investigate the shooting.