Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck was shot in the face and on the top of his head during a theft encounter at a JC Penney store in Omaha, Nebraska. The shooting was on March 12, 2021 at the Westroads Mall. 21-year-old Kenya Jenkins allegedly fired 4 shots at Officer Wittstruck during a confrontation.
The situation unfolded when JC Penney employees called police to report a shoplifting attempt. Kenya allegedly was caught stealing a package of t-shirts, he tried to run but was detained by mall security.
Omaha police say Kenya was not cooperative and initially gave a false name. Officer Wittstruck tried to arrest Kenya but he pulled away, the officer then shot a taser at Kenya but the prongs missed. Another physical struggle ensued, and that is when authorities say Kenya pulled a gun out of his sweatshirt pocket and fired four times at Officer Wittstruck. The officer was shot in the face and on the top of his head.
Kenya ran out of the mall and drove off in a white BMW. A high speed chase soon followed. Kenya ended up crashing on a railroad after his BMW stalled on the center of the train tracks. The suspect was arrested and charged with suspicion of attempted first-degree murder and use of a gun to commit a felony.
Officer Wittstruck was rushed to the hospital and is in stable condition, although he will require surgery.
There have been several shootings at Charlotte area malls over the years. Avenanna Propst, 13, was shot and killed at Concord Mills Mall in Concord, NC on December 28, 2019.
A man was shot at Concord Mills while watching a movie in the AMC theaters within the mall.
A man was shot and killed at the Carolina Place mall during a fist fight with a DTLR store employee.