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Omaha Police officers look back at Von Maur shooting 10 years later

Posted: 1:19 PM, Dec 05, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-05 19:50:08Z

Two Omaha Police officers at different points in their careers 10 years ago still vividly remember what happened at Westroads Mall on Dec. 5, 2007. 

A gunman randomly fired on customers and employees on the third floor of Von Maur. Beverly Flynn, Gary Sharf, Maggie Webb, Angie Schuster, Janet Jorgenson, John McDonald, Gary Joy and Diane Trent all lost their lives and four others were wounded. 

Sergeant Jeff Baker was one of the first officers on scene, he saw workers' looks of horror as he entered the west doors to the smell of gunfire. 

"They made an impression on me in terms of the sheer terror you could see in their faces," he said. "They were literally running for their lives." 

Officer Greg O'Neil was a loss prevention specialist at Von Maur a year before the shooting and would soon start a career in law enforcement. On Dec. 5, he showed up outside Von Maur looking for his fiancee Angie Schuster, who still worked at the store. 

"Disbelief, didn't know exactly what was happening," he said. "She was beautiful, kind, extremely kind, loyal, loved Von Maur, loved working there." 

"I struggled for a long time with a sense of failure...certainly dealt with some demons afterwards because your head tells you one thing and your heart tell yous something else, and what my heart was telling was that I didn't get there in time."

Both men say it was difficult for them to go back to Von Maur for years but have been able to work through the grief and what if's. They want people to remember the victims, and the bravery of those who helped.