Omaha Police Officer Involved Shooting and Help an Officer
From the the Omaha Police Officers Association: www.facebook.com/omahapoa
On Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 8:10 p.m. a two-officer cruiser was on routine patrol in the area of 44th Street & Pratt Street when the two officers heard gun shots being fired within very close proximity of their cruiser. The gun shots heard by the officers were detected by Shotspotter. Shotspotter, the gunfire alert system, detected multiple rounds of gunfire between 44th Street and 44th Avenue on Pratt Street. The two officers then observed a black 2-door Chevrolet Tahoe traveling east on Pratt Street. The two officers noticed the driver’s window was part way down. Noting that the Tahoe was coming from the direction of the gunfire and that the driver’s window was part way down, considering the cold, snow and windy conditions the officers decided to investigate further.
The two officers caught up to the Tahoe at 44th Street and Ruggles Street as the Tahoe turned westbound onto Ruggles Street. At approximately 8:11 p.m. the officers observed the Tahoe park on the south side of Ruggles Street facing traffic at 4416 Ruggles Street, the residence of the suspect’s mother. As soon as the Tahoe pulled over to park the lone occupant of the vehicle, identified as Deandre E. Crittenden, B/M, (7-27-83), fled on foot. The officers’ cruiser was equipped with an in-car mobile video recorder, which captured audio and video recordings of the incident.
As Crittenden fled from the vehicle, Officer Eric Meads clearly saw Crittenden to be armed with a handgun. Officer Meads and Officer Paul Hasiak pursued Crittenden on foot eastbound through the yards along the south side of Ruggles Street to the address of 3915 N. 44th Street. During the foot chase, the remote audio component of the in-car mobile video recorder captured the audio of the officers giving Crittenden numerous loud verbal commands throughout the foot chase. The commands included, “show me your hands” and the officers communicating to each other, “he’s got a gun in his hand.”
As Crittenden ran to the rear of the residence at 3915 N. 44th Street, both officers cut across the front yard of this residence as Officer Meads verbally alerted Officer Hasiak that Crittenden would be coming around the south side of the house. While in the driveway on the south side of the residence Officer Paul Hasiak, an 8 ½ year veteran of the Omaha Police Department, confronted Crittenden and observed that Crittenden’s handgun with the high capacity extended magazine had fallen to the ground. The handgun was directly in front of Crittenden and well within Crittenden’s reach. Officer Hasiak observed Crittenden reach down and pick up the handgun and raise it up toward Officer Hasiak.
Officer Hasiak feared for his safety and discharged his duty weapon, striking Crittenden multiple times. Immediately after Officer Hasiak discharged his duty weapon, the officers radioed that shots were fired and announced a “help an officer.” The officers also request a rescue squad to be sent to the scene to provide immediate medical attention to Crittenden. Immediately after Officer Hasiak discharged his duty weapon, numerous friends and relatives of Crittenden from 4416 Ruggles arrived on scene. Numerous officers arrived at the scene to control the very emotional situation.
A .45 caliber handgun equipped with a high capacity extended magazine that was in possession of Crittenden was recovered at the scene of the shooting. During a search of the scene where the initial gunfire was heard by the officers and detected by Shotspotter, investigators located several .45 caliber spent shell casings. Additional firearms examination and forensic ballistic testing will be completed to determine if the two crime scenes are connected.
Crittenden was taken to Creighton University Medical Center by Omaha Fire Department Ambulance. Crittenden is expected to survive his injuries. No officers or other citizens were injured in this incident. Police are not seeking any other suspects. This incident is still under investigation. Crittenden is a convicted felon for attempted robbery and use of a firearm to commit a felony. Additional felony gun charges are pending for Crittenden.
“Omaha Police Officers are trained to intervene in dangerous life threatening situations to protect the citizens of Omaha. Police officers have the legal authority to utilize deadly force to defend themselves and others from serious bodily injury or death. In this incident, Officer Hasiak feared for his safety and discharged his firearm in defense of himself.” — Chief Todd Schmaderer
Per Omaha Police Department policy, any officer who discharges his/her firearm that results in an injury is placed on paid administrative leave pending Homicide and Internal Affairs investigations. Officer Hasiak and Officer Meads were placed on paid administrative leave.
CUMC has updated OPD on Crittenden’s medical status; he is still critical.