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UPDATE: Target suspect identified, purchased rifle 4 days prior to shooting

Posted at 12:19 PM, Jan 31, 2023

UPDATE: 4 p.m.

Police identified the Tuesday Target store shooter as 32-year-old Joseph Jones of Omaha.

Police determined that Jones purchased the rifle used in this incident at Cabela's four days prior to this incident.

The officer who shot Jones is identified as Officer Brian Vanderheiden. He has served the Omaha Police Department for 20 years. He has been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy.

The investigation is ongoing. Additional information will be released by OPD.

CONTENT WARNING: Omaha Police have released surveillance photos of the shooter in the store. Some may find these images difficult to see.

Target Store shooting
Target Store shooting
Target Store Shooting
Target Store Shooting
Target Body Camera
Target Store AR-15
Target shooter
Target Shooter
Officer Brian Vanderheiden


The Omaha Police Department Officer Involved Investigations Team, assisted by the Sarpy and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, is continuing to investigate the shooting that occurred at the Target at 17810 West Center Road Tuesday.

According to a press release, OPD officers and law enforcement personnel from various county, state and federal agencies responded to a report of an active shooter inside the Target at 11:59 a.m.

The press release then states that OPD officers and a Nebraska State Trooper arrived at the Target and entered the store where they encountered a white male suspect armed with a rifle.

Police say numerous loud verbal commands were said, ordering the suspect to drop the rifle. An Omaha Police officer then fired their service handgun striking the suspect who was declared dead by the Omaha Fire Department, according to a press release.

The suspect will be identified once our department is able to appropriately notify the next of kin.

Police say that the investigation revealed that the male suspect had fired multiple shots inside Target, and was in possession of an AR-15-style rifle and 13 loaded rifle magazines.

Officers then conducted a thorough search of the store three times before declaring the scene safe.

Officers did not locate any victims of gunfire no victims have arrived at local hospitals, according to a press release. During the search officers located bullet casings inside the store.

Douglas County 911 received at least twenty-nine 911 calls about the incident.

OPD asks that anyone who was at the scene during the incident who did not speak with officers to call 402-444-4877 to share any information.

The Super Target will remain closed until Thursday.

If you are attempting to locate any items lost during this incident, Omaha Police have provided instructions how to do so below:


The Omaha Police Department says officers fatally shot a man who walked into the Target at 178th and Center St. firing an AR-15 on Tuesday afternoon.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said multiple searches of the store were conducted and no other victims were found.

The first active shooting calls came in around 11:59 a.m. Police say over twenty calls were received and authorities arrived within minutes.

The suspect is described as a white man in his 30s who walked into the store firing multiple rounds with an AR-15 rifle who had “plenty of ammunition.” Multiple shell casings were found, according to police.

Officers arrived and confronted the individual and ultimately killed the suspect. He died at the scene.

A call center has been set up by Omaha Police for witnesses to call in with information. The phone number is 402-444-4877.

Officers remain on the scene investigating.

Statement from Target's corporate office below:

Target Quote

Statement from Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert:


This is a developing story.


1/31/23 1:20 p.m. update:

Omaha Police say the shooting suspect is deceased and there are no other victims.

Police say the suspect was armed with an AR-15 with "plenty of ammunition."

Authorities responded to the scene within minutes.


Omaha Police say the scene is secure but citizens should avoid the area as the investigation continues.

Original story:

There is a heavy police presence at the Target store near 178th Street and West Center Road at approximately noon on Tuesday. There are unconfirmed reports of shots fired in or near the store.

Employees at Red Robin told 3 News Now Anchor Zach Williamson that there is a huge police presence in the area. They said they were safe.

Reporter Ron Johnson saw four police cruisers flying by our crew on L Street on the way to the scene. Reporter Aaron Hegarty witnessed three police vehicles bolting down Center Street a few minutes after 12 p.m.

KMTV crews are on the way to the scene. This is a developing story.

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