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Omaha police release details on in-custody death

Police
Posted at 2:26 PM, Jun 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-12 15:26:01-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The Omaha Police Department provided details on Saturday about an in-custody death that happened Thursday.

Police said detectives identified a witness who saw 26-year-old Nigel Phillips run from the scene of a car accident near 34th and Laurel armed with a handgun.

Police said officers formed a perimeter in the area and saw Phillps run through houses in the 3600 block of Laurel Avenue.

"Phillips was observed behind a residence where he proceeded to take his own life after an officer gave verbal commands for him to drop the handgun," police said in a news release.

According to police, a review of body-worn camera video supported statements from officers and indicated that no officers fired their weapons.

"Upon approach of Phillips, officers observed, and body-worn camera supported, Phillips was holding a handgun and had suffered a fatal wound. That handgun was determined to have been stolen in October 2020," police said in a news release.

Police said an autopsy found that Phillips died from the result of a single gunshot wound to the head.

"The pathologist indicated the wound occurred in close contact," police said.

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer and Deputy Chief Ken Kanger met with Phillips' family and elected city officials to discuss preliminary findings of the investigation.

Police said the incident will be presented to a grand jury once the investigation is over. The law requires a grand jury to be summoned when a death occurs while being apprehended or in custody of law enforcement.

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