Active shooter at Uta Halee shines light on domestic violence

Posted: 10:41 PM, Feb 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-16 23:41:32-05
Active shooter at Uta Halee shines light on domestic violence

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Friday's active shooter situation at Uta Halee Academy leaves many in the community shaken. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office identified the shooter as Matthew Lesley.

They say he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The academy says Lesley was the estranged husband of a staff member.

After Friday's active shooter situation at Uta Halee Academy neighbors said they couldn't imagine anything like this happening close to home. "It was a little nerve racking as we just moved in recently and so we were a little worried about it,” said neighbor Emilie Burch, "feeling extra blessed that no one was harmed over here, none of our neighbors or anything, so and I think just the police here, they do a really good job in keeping us all safe."

Matthew Lesley's wife filed a protection order on him a day before the shooting. Elizabeth Power with the Women's Center for Advancement said Lesley showed typical signs of someone going through the potential loss of a relationship. “A lot of times it's I’m gonna hurt you, I’m gonna kill you, I’m gonna hurt the dog or the kids or a lot of times we hear I’m going to kill myself,” said Power.

She said about one in four women are going to experience some violence in their relationships in a lifetime. “We never know who is experiencing an unhealthy relationship and it can be somebody that you think really has their life all put together and you just don't know because people are so scared to talk about it,” said Power.

Uta Halee is a treatment center for girls who have dealt with abuse, neglect, trauma and mental illness. Power said what happened Friday can easily add more fear to those who live there. “I can't imagine what that feels like to be one of those girls to realize it's coming back, this violence is all around us, is it possible for me to even escape it,” she said.

If you know someone struggling with abuse in a relationship the Women's Center for Advancement has a 24/7 hotline number anyone can call. That number is 402-345-7273.