One deputy killed, others injured after inmate escapes police custody

Posted at 6:46 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 10:18:20-04

At approximately 10:55 a.m., two Pottawattamie County Deputies, Mark Burbridge, age 43, and Pat Morgan, age 59 were in the process of transporting two prisoners from the Pottawattamie County Courthouse to the Pottawattamie County Jail. After they arrived at the jail and began the transfer process, inmate Wesley Williams Correa Carmenaty, aged 23 attacked both officers. Carmenaty was able to grab a firearm from one of the deputies and proceeded to shoot both. Carmenaty then used the transport van to flee the scene driving through closed garage doors that were attached to the jail.


Carmenaty stopped the van at the intersection of Big Lake Rd and 16th and unsuccessfully attempted to carjack an S-10 pickup truck with two passengers. Carmenaty shot the driver Jerry Brittain, age 30 one time and then left the location in the transport van. Brittain was taken to Nebraska Medicine with non-life threatening injuries.

Amy Kanger, age 31 was driving a black Nissan Sentra and saw the abandoned transport van on the grass near the area of 2500 Avenue I. When Kanger stopped to see if there were injuries, Carmenaty kidnapped Kanger at gunpoint and fled in her Nissan. 

Carmenaty let Kanger out of the car at the R&L Liquor located at 5825 N. 30th Street unharmed. Kanger then alerted Omaha police to the incident.

Captain Gray radioed that he had contacted a vehicle whose description and plates matched the information provided by Kanger. Sergeant David got behind the vehicle at 30th and Sprague Street and began to pursuit.  The suspect drove south on 30th Street, and then west on Cuming Street and then did U-turn at Saddle Creek and Cuming Street.  The suspect then traveled back east on Cuming Street and attempted to enter the I-480 onramp when he hit a brick wall. Carmenaty was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Douglas County Jail for kidnapping, use of a weapon to commit a felony, felon in possession of a firearm, felony operating a vehicle to avoid arrest and fugitive from justice. 

Deputy Burbridge who was transported in critical condition to Creighton Medical Center and died from his injuries shortly after 12 p.m.. Deputy Pat Morgan suffered a gunshot wound to his lower torso and is listed in stable condition at Omaha hospital. Jerry Brittain suffered a gunshot wound to the neck and is being treated for a non-life threatening injury.  

The Professional Fire Fighters Association of Omaha has released the following statement:

On behalf of the Omaha Professional Fire Fighters Association, Local 385, I would like to express our most sincere condolences to the Pottawattamie County Sheriff Department and the loved ones and family of the deputy who was tragically killed in the line of duty today. Police officers and first responders put their lives on the line every time they put on a uniform, and we are proud to stand side-by-side in our shared mission to protect and serve others. This is a tragic loss and a sad day for our community. Please join us in fully supporting the fellow officers and family as they mourn this tragic loss." 

- President, Omaha Professional Fire Fighters, Local 385, Steve LeClair

Update (3:30 p.m.) Police Chief Todd Schmaderer has released the following statement:

“Today the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office tragically lost a deputy in the line of duty. We are deeply saddened by his death and we mourn alongside the entire Pottawattamie Sheriff’s Office. We offer our deepest condolences to their department and to the family of the fallen deputy. We also extend our thoughts and prayers to the injured deputy. The Omaha Police Department has pledged our full support across the river as we mourn together.”

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer