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Omaha police have named the officers involved in a death investigation after Taser deployment

Posted: 11:02 AM, Jun 07, 2017
Updated: 2017-06-07 19:02:19-04
Bearheels' family reacts to death in OPD custody
Bearheels' family reacts to death in OPD custody

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The names of the Omaha police officers on paid administrative leave following an in-custody death have been released.

Law enforcement is  currently investigating  the death of 29-year-old Zachary Bearheels, who  died in police custody¬† after being tazed at a Bucky's Gas Station Monday. 

The officers are a part of the Uniform Patrol Bureau, Southwest Precinct with one to four years of experience.

  • Jennifer Strudl
  • Makyla Mead
  • Scotty Payne
  • Ryan McClarty

Police have said Bearheels was acting erratically before he was tasered.

Bearheels' younger brother, Mitchell Chalepah, says his death should have been prevented.

"Monday morning comes around and I'm literally about to walk out the door to go to work and my mom calls me crying and says your brothers gone," Chalepah said. "My mom couldn't find him so she kept calling me, telling me she's keeping in contact with the police."

According to his family, Bearheels suffered from mental health issues.

"I was there to witness where he couldn't talk," Chalepah said. "Couldn't do much. I helped him get back to who he was, where he started laughing around, talking to people again. Remembering everybody. He could walk into the store and buy something on his own again."

Bearheels was traveling on a bus from South Dakota to Oklahoma on Sunday, when he was kicked off in Omaha. Family says they contacted police and asked they bring him to a crisis center.

Police have said Bearheels was acting erratically before he was tasered.

"He loved to play basketball," Chalepah said. "That's the thing that kept him happy. And he loved to write."

Four Omaha police officers are on paid administrative leave while the investigation is underway.

Chalepah says his family is left questioning why their loved one is gone..

"We just want justice for our brother," Chalepah said. "He didn't deserve this. he just needed help. he didn't need to be tazed and killed."

Chalepah says he believes his brother was in handcuffs when he was tasered. A fundraiser has been set up to help family with funeral expenses.

Omaha Chief of Police Todd Schmaderer is expected to hold a press conference; the date and time are pending.