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OPD to carry out internal investigation after suspect shot himself in custody

Brandon Jennings is in stable condition as of Mon.
Posted at 5:39 AM, Sep 28, 2020

Update - 10/6/20

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office booked 22-year-old Brandon Jennings on the following charges on Oct. 6: 10 counts of terroristic threats, 10 counts of use of weapon to commit a felony, 1 count possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, 1 count CCW and 1 count escape implement.

Previous story:

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer has ordered an internal investigation after a suspect at the Douglas County Department of Corrections (DCDC) produced a handgun and shot himself in the head while in custody.

An Omaha Police Department (OPD) spokesperson says the incident unfolded after two officers responded to a call about an assault and carjacking that had occurred, allegedly involving the caller's boyfriend, when she was dropping her child off at daycare.

OPD says the suspect, 22-year-old Brandon Jennings, forcibly took the caller's vehicle and left the area but was later found by officers.

When officers made contact, OPD says it was learned that Jennings had a felony warrant and a misdemeanor warrant on file and took ownership of a gun that was found in the car. Another party in the vehicle was also taken into custody.

After being questioned by officers at Central headquarters, both suspects were transported to the Douglas County Department of Corrections where Jennings later shot himself.

OPD says a body-worn camera showed officers responding to the area where the shooting took place but the shooting itself was not captured.

The internal investigation will be carried out by the Internal Affairs Unit after the Douglas County Sheriff's Office completes its own investigation.

Previous story - 9/28/20

Update - 6 PM

Neighbors say the police presence at the Douglas County Jail Sunday evening was unlike anything they've ever seen.

"It was probably the most commotion incident since we've lived here in the area," spectator Jeff Ausenbaugh said.

The question now is, how did Jennings manage to get a gun inside the jail after being arrested by the Omaha Police Department?

"We'll search people. All cops are trained to search people. You know you can't do as thorough job as you'd like on the streets. Once they get here there's a more thorough search done. So is it possible to have contraband on you coming into this building? Yes it is. But it's usually caught before they get past the first or second door," Douglas County Sheriff's Office Captain Eric Sellers said.

OPD and the DCSO say they're investigating the matter.

No officers were harmed in the incident, but the mental trauma of the corrections officers being threatened with a gun, then dealing with an inmate shooting himself is traumatizing.

"We had some staff that were very shaken up last night," Douglas County jail director Michael Myers said.

The Department of Corrections is also conducting its own internal investigation into booking procedures to prevent similar events in the future.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Jennings was conscious and alert Sunday night and was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center for surgery. Monday he was in stable condition. But due to this incident, he may now be facing even more charges.

Update - 11 AM

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office (DCSO) has identified the shooting suspect as 22-year-old Brandon Jennings of Omaha and has provided a list of charges that brought him to the Douglas County Corrections.

DCSO says a preliminary investigation revealed Jennings shot himself in the head in a dressing room at the facility after producing a gun and threatening staff.

Prior to the shooting, the DCSO says Jennings had been arrested by the Omaha Police Department for robbery and domestic violence assault.

Previous story - 5:39 AM:

Authorities are investigating after a person being booked into Douglas County Corrections threatened staff with a firearm and eventually fired a self-inflicted gunshot on Sunday night.

According to a statement from DCC's director Mike Myers, the facility received a request from Omaha Police officers for help booking a combative individual around 9:40 p.m.

Officers discovered a firearm during a strip search in the booking process.

The individual then threatened corrections officers and staff. A while later, the individual fired the weapon, which resulted in a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Omaha Police and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office responded and the individual was apprehended without further incident, according to Myers.

Medics took the injured suspect to a local hospital with potential critical injuries. No one else was injured.

"Most importantly, we are grateful that the brave women and men of the Douglas County Department of Corrections were not physically harmed, though they are understandably shaken up by this incident," said Myers. "We have a lot of information to analyze and discuss both internally and with the Omaha Police Department to ensure we never have a repeat of this event."

Law enforcement continues to investigate.