On Thursday, April 7th, 2016 at 2:07 p.m. day shift Omaha Police Gang Unit Officers were investigating the occupants of a red 2002 Toyota Camry for alleged firearms violations. The Officers located the vehicle at Fontenelle Boulevard and Ames Avenue and attempted to stop the vehicle near 60th and Ames Avenue, but the vehicle fled. The officers did not pursue the vehicle and put out a broadcast over the radio of the vehicle description. This ended police contact with the vehicle at this time.
At 4:16 p.m. afternoon shift Omaha Police Gang Unit Officers received information that the red Toyota Camry was located in the parking lot of Sol's Jewelry and Loan at 3110 "L" St. The vehicle was unoccupied. Within a few minutes after Omaha Police Gang Unit Officers arrived at Sol's, they observed two adult males exit the store and walk to the vehicle. One of the adult males, who was later identified as Lance McIntire (Date of Birth 12-15-71) entered into the driver's seat and locked the doors of the vehicle as Gang Officers approached the vehicle. The second male party, who was later identified as Gregory Day (Date of Birth 06-09-67), was detained by Omaha Police Gang Officers before he was able to enter the vehicle.
Mr. McIntire refused to comply with loud verbal commands given by the officers to exit the vehicle. The officers attempted to break out the window of the vehicle to apprehend Mr. McIntire, but were unsuccessful. Additional Gang Officers arrived at the scene to assist in detaining the suspects.
A total of five marked and unmarked Gang Unit vehicles attempted to block in the Camry. Two of the vehicles were equipped with red and blue emergency lights that were activated. A total of eight Gang Unit Officers had arrived on scene.
The Gang Unit Officers were dressed in police tactical vests. The vests are clearly marked with the word "Police" and an Omaha Police Badge on the vest. Three witnesses, including Mr. Day were interviewed by the Officer-Involved Investigations Team detectives. During their interviews, they all stated that they clearly recognized the Gang Unit Officers as Police Officers.
Omaha Police Gang Unit Officer Dale Thomas, along with his partner Officer Rob Wiley, was the last cruiser that arrived at Sol's. Officer Thomas parked his marked cruiser facing in the direction of the Camry. The red and blue emergency lights on Officer Thomas' cruiser were activated. Officer Thomas got out of his cruiser and walked to the rear of the cruiser to the open trunk. Officer Thomas was looking inside of the trunk for a glass breaking tool. Officer Thomas then walked from the rear of his cruiser around to the driver's side. Officer Thomas was positioned in a seven and a half foot gap between his cruiser and another Omaha Police Gang Unit cruiser when Mr. McIntire accelerated and drove the Camry directly towards him.
In order to escape, Mr. McIntire drove the Camry in between the narrow gap between the Omaha Police Gang Unit cruisers. While doing so, the Camry collided with the sides of all three of the police vehicles, two of which were marked police vehicles with red and blue emergency lights activated. The collision caused the rear bumper of the Camry to be completely ripped off of the vehicle.
Officer Thomas was directly in the path of the Camry. Officer Thomas was interviewed by an Officer-Involved Investigations Team detective. During the interview, Officer Thomas stated the he feared he was going to be run over. The investigation found that Officer Thomas did not intentionally put himself in harm's way. In order to escape the gap between the cruisers, Officer Thomas retreated back to the rear of his cruiser while simultaneously shooting his handgun at Mr. McIntire.
Officer Thomas discharged his duty weapon 16 times in less than five seconds at Mr. McIntire. The front hood and windshield of the Camry were struck by gunfire. Officer Thomas continued to shoot at the Camry, striking the driver's side of the vehicle as it passed by his position. Mr. McIntire was struck by the gunfire and was incapacitated. Mr. McIntire's vehicle continued out of the parking lot in a half circle pattern out of control. The Camry veered off the west side of 31st Street and crashed into a retaining wall on the northwest corner of the intersection at 31st and L Streets.
At 4:23 p.m. a citywide Help an Officer call was broadcast by Douglas County 911. At 4:24 p.m. Officers asked for a rescue squad to their location for a person who was shot. The Officers at the scene immediately provided first aid and began CPR on Mr. McIntire before the Omaha Fire Department Ambulance arrived. Mr. McIntire was transported to the Nebraska Medicine ER in critical condition. Mr. McIntire succumbed to his injuries at Nebraska Medicine ER.
Mr. McIntire's vehicle was struck thirteen times. A total of sixteen shell casings were recovered at the scene. Mr. McIntire sustained four gunshot wounds. Thomas' duty weapon is a .40 caliber Glock. All casings located at the scene were .40 caliber. No other officers fired their weapon during this incident.
No other citizens or officers were injured during this incident. This entire incident was captured on surveillance cameras and cruiser video cameras. There were a total of four video systems with seven different angles that recorded this incident.
During a search of the Camry, detectives found a Browning .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun. The handgun was not loaded. The handgun was found inside of a bag located in the back seat of the vehicle along with some items of clothing. Detectives also found suspected methamphetamines inside of the vehicle with an estimated street value of $1,200.00. The suspected methamphetamine field tested positive.
Mr. McIntire was a convicted felon with an extensive criminal history with over 255 entries dating back to 1986. Mr. McIntire had a felony warrant for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and misdemeanor warrants for driving during suspension and failure to pay child support.
The officer who discharged his weapon is: 32-year-old Dale Thomas, a 7-year, 10 month veteran assigned to the C-shift Gang Unit.
The Omaha Police Department extends its condolences to the family and friends of Mr. McIntire.
Per Omaha Police Department policy, any officer who discharges his/her firearm that results in injury or death is placed on paid administrative leave pending the Officer Involved Investigations Team and Internal Affairs Unit investigations. Officer Thomas has been placed on paid administrative leave. Per state law, a Grand Jury will be convened to investigate the actions of the officers.
"The situation at 31st and L Street unfolded rapidly and was extremely dangerous. The Omaha Police Department Gang Unit continues to serve our community by placing themselves in harm's way in order to reduce gang and gun violence." said Police Chief Todd Schmaderer
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine has been given a full briefing on this incident and has viewed the evidence to date. After the investigative briefing, Don Kleine believes the actions of Officer Thomas were justified.