Police identify man killed during police pursuit in Omaha

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The Omaha Police Department has identified the man killed during a police chase Thursday in Omaha as 25-year-old, Elijah Smith.

Police say an autopsy report showed he died from a "direct contact" gunshot wound to his head.

They say it appears to be self-inflicted.

Police say the chase all started just after 6:30 Thursday evening near 60th and Fort.

Investigators say two officers were on patrol in a marked cruiser when they spotted a car that matched the description of a getaway car used in a robbery and attempted robbery on Wednesday.

According to police, the getaway car was a Honda with a sunroof and damage to the rear passenger door.

Police say they tried to pull the driver over, but the driver wouldn't stop.

Near 60th and Girard streets, officers say the driver signaled a left turn, but then sped away heading north on 60th.

Eventually police say the driver made his way to the area of Calhoun Road near I-680 south. Police say, several groups of officers were in the area with stop sticks to make sure the driver couldn't access the interstate.

Officers say when the driver spotted the cruisers, he turned onto Cook Plaza for about half a mile then slowed the car down and jumped out while it was still moving.

Police say the car rolled into a tree while Smith ran through a brush area.

Investigators say officers ran after him, giving him orders to get on the ground, but they say Smith ignored them.

Within seconds, police say an officer announced "shots fired" on the radio. Officers say they saw Smith lying face down on the ground.

Investigators say the officers backed off to a safe spot then announced on the radio that Smith had "accidentally shot himself".

Investigators say medics found Smith lying directly on top of a .40 caliber firearm. Medics pronounced him dead there.

Police say one of the officers told internal detectives that he saw Smith try to run up up an incline, but then back away from it.

Investigators say the officer told detectives he saw Smith fall to the ground and he heard what he thought was a muffled gunshot.

Investigators say body cam and dash cam footage caught the chase, but that it was too dark to see what happened when Smith was shot. Investigators say cameras also did not pick up the sound of any gunshots.

Police say investigators found a .40 caliber casing about 20 feet away from Smith's body, they say it is the same manufacturer as the casing found during a robbery the day before.

Investigators say the officers near Smith when he was shot both carry a Glock .45 and 9mm handgun. They also say none of the officers on scene fired their duty weapons.



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