OPD: prosecutor will review in-custody death

Posted at 8:48 AM, Jun 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 09:49:48-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The Douglas County Attorney's Office is expected to review an in-custody death investigation Wednesday morning, after Omaha police expected to already wrap up its interviews with the officers involved, according to the department.


While the investigation continues into the death of Zachary Bearheels, 29, people gathered Tuesday night at a Bucky’s Express convenience store and gas station near 60th and Center streets.

According to police, officers used their Tasers on Bearheels after he allegedly acted erratically and refused to leave the store.


Authorities later pronounced him dead at Nebraska Medicine.


His family tells 3 News Now, the Oklahoma man has a history of mental illness.


During the vigil yesterday, some people questioned the officers’ actions.


I don't think police are mental health workers, said Henry Barstow, who organized the vigil.



“They should have not been trying to take care of a mental person that had already been in contact with Zachary’s mother [who] said, ‘He’s possibly off of his medication and could you please take him to a crisis center?’” Barstow says.


Police say investigators spoke to family members a few times to answer questions and exchange information.


In a released statement, the department says its “thoughts and prayers are with the family and involved officers during this terribly trying time."


Sometime Wednesday afternoon, Omaha police expects to release more information.


Check back for updates.



UPDATE: Man who died after police tazing identified