Tense moments in a busy Omaha neighborhood, police blocked off streets after reports of a robbery and possible hostage situation that ended at 11am Thursday.
At about 9:30am, police respond to a robbery in progress at the Auto Zone on Saddle Creek and Cuming Street. When officers got on scene all employees were reportedly out of the building.
Then 911 dispatch got a call from a person inside claiming to be a customer trapped in there by the suspect. Officers talked him out, and tried to order the suspect out.
Upon further investigation it was determined that the man that came out of the store was actually the robbery suspect.
The man was later identified as 27-year-old Cotrell T. Knight.
When that didn't happen, police and a K-9 went in but there was no one inside and the building was cleared.
“Anytime that there’s word that there’s possible a hostage involved obviously it changes our method of approach and how we handle this situation. Each of these situations are different and we have to take the totality of the circumstances and evaluate as we go,” said Ofc. Michael Pecha.
Witnesses were glad no one was hurt.
"Well I mean you never know what can happen in the situation like that it's so erratic and you never know what's going through the mind of the people over there so you just to comply with whatever you can to make the situation easier for law enforcement to take care of it and keep us all safe," said Nick Jungbauer, a witness..
No shots were fired, and it’s unclear if police recovered a firearm from the scene.
During their search, OPD's Robbery Unit Detectives located evidence and a firearm that was used during the robbery.
Knight was booked on one count of robbery, one count of use of a weapon to commit a felony, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Anyone with any information about this robbery or any other unsolved robberies is encouraged to call the Omaha Police Department's Robbery Unit at 402-444-4619.