- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Omaha authorities say a wanted man who was shot and killed by officers threatened to shoot them while they were trying to arrest him and had a loaded handgun with him in his car.

In a news release issued Tuesday night, Omaha police provided more information about the death of Willie Michalak on March 19. Police have said five officers, including two Omaha officers, fired at Michalak as they attempted to arrest him on several warrants, including one for possession of a firearm.

Officers had learned that Michalak was at a house south of downtown Omaha and considered him likely to be armed and dangerous.

Police said Omaha gang unit officers and members of the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force spotted Michalak behind the wheel of a car parked on a driveway, still running. One of the officers stopped directly behind Michalak’s car.

According to police, witnesses reported hearing officers order Michalak to keep his hands in view, but Michalak cursed, threatened to shoot officers and said they’d have to shoot him. The exchange occurred as the wheels on Michalak’s car spun on the driveway as the car pushed up against a vehicle parked in front of his.

Michalak then took his right hand off the steering wheel and reached down toward his waistband, police said. The officers then opened fire, striking Michalak several times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 9 mm handgun loaded with 15 rounds, including one in the chamber, was found on the car floor in front of Michalak, police said. Officers also found methamphetamine and marijuana in his pockets.

Police Chief Tim Schmaderer told the Omaha World-Herald that he considered the shooting justified.

A grand jury will review the fatal shooting, as required by state law anytime someone dies in police custody or being apprehended.

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