- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said the actions of two deputies during last month’s encounter with an armed man were justified because their lives were threatened.

He said Wednesday that he has found no wrongdoing by deputies Wade Grim and Chad Miller after reviewing reports, interviewing witnesses and watching patrol camera footage of the June 23 encounter. Both were put on paid administrative leave while the incident was under investigation but have since returned to work, the Sheriff’s Office said last week.

The sheriff has said the incident began after a store clerk told one of the deputies that the 32-year-old man appeared to be drunk and had just bought a six-pack of beer. Deputies later ordered the man out of his vehicle but he confronted them with a gun.

Investigators say a struggle over the gun ensued and a shot was fired from the man’s gun. Grim then shot the man, who was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Kleine said criminal charges are possible against the man, who remains hospitalized. An update on his condition hasn’t been released, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1e35l4t ) reported

The Sheriff’s Office plans to improve the way deputies are alerted to dangerous people after the incident. A notice was sent to law enforcement in the Omaha area warning them that the man had threatened to shoot police if they tried to arrest him.

All deputies should have seen the alert, but Grim and Miller didn’t recognize the man by his appearance, his driver’s license or his vehicle description when they stopped him from leaving the parking lot outside a convenience store, said Chief Deputy Tom Wheeler.

Wheeler said that police would have been warned by 911 dispatchers about the threats if they had been dispatched to the man’s home address. He said that the Sheriff’s Office is now working with the 911 communications center to figure out how to attach alerts to both a person’s name and address.

“This is certainly a priority. We put these alerts out for a reason, so we want to make sure we get the information out to deputies in a timely manner,” he said.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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