No charges for off-duty officers in fatal shooting of 2 men outside Nebraska bar

A prosecutor says he won't charge two off-duty police officers who shot and killed two men while working weekend security at a bar in Nebraska's largest city

Josh Funk
Thursday 08 February 2024 20:43 GMT

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Louise Thomas

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No charges will be filed against two off-duty officers who shot and killed two men while working security at a nightclub in Nebraska’s largest city because the police chief said they were reacting after one of the men fired a gun at them.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said in a statement that he had reviewed witness statements and surveillance video and decided the Omaha police officers acted properly in using deadly force in the shooting early Saturday in that city.

Police on Thursday presented a compilation of the surveillance video from several businesses showing scenes outside the Extasis Night Club around 2 a.m. Saturday, shortly after the bar closed.

The video showed an argument with pushing and shoving outside the night club between the two men who were killed and a group of people. The officers who had been working security at the bar broke that up. Then, as the group of people involved in that argument were walking across a neighboring business' parking lot, the two men later identified as Fernando Rodriguez-Juarez and Jonathan Hernandez-Rosales pulled up in a Jeep and confronted them.

Police said that Rodriguez-Juarez, who was driving the Jeep, held a gun out the passenger window and fired one shot at the group of people. The two officers returned fire, shooting 21 times and striking each man three times.

Rodriguez-Juarez, 26, and Hernandez-Rosales, 28, died at a hospital following the shooting.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said investigators determined both men were in the country illegally. Hernandez-Rosales was a citizen of Nicaragua and Rodriguez-Juarez was from Mexico.

Schmaderer said investigators aren't sure how well the men understood English though one of them yelled for an ambulance in English after the shooting, but there was no time for the officers to issue any commands in English or Spanish.

"The communication was the gunshot. The officers had to react to that instantly,” Schmaderer said.

The officers involved in the shooting were identified as Capt. Jay Leavitt and Officer Robert Soldo. Leavitt has been with the department for over 25 years and was involved in a different shooting last June that he was cleared in. Soldo has been an officer for more than eight years.

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