A man dressed as a pirate was shot and critically wounded by an Omaha police officer Thursday after he refused to drop his sword.
Jonathan Martis, 38, was listed in stable condition at Creighton University Medical Center Thursday night. Police said he was expected to survive.
The bizarre incident unfolded when officers went to Martis' residence at 3312 X St. He had called 911 at 6:20 p.m. to report a disturbance.
Officers commanded Martis to drop the sword, but he refused and advanced on them, said Officer Michael Pecha, a police spokesman.
An officer fired a Taser that appeared to have no effect on Martis. The costumed man continued to advance and was shot by an officer, Pecha said. He was struck in the torso.
Martis had told witnesses that he was going to harm the responding officers, Pecha said.
The male officer who fired was not identified.
Pecha said the investigation was incomplete. He did not have information on how many shots were fired, how much time elapsed between when officers arrived and when Martis was shot, or who else may have been in the South Omaha home or near it.
A neighbor on X Street, who declined to give his name, said he heard police cars race to the scene and then shouting.
“I heard one shot, pop,” the man said.
As evidence technicians worked the scene, pieces of Martis' maroon costume were collected in a pile in the street in front of the home. The clothing was next to a pair of handcuffs.
Martis owns an engine repair business that he operates from the home.
He had been glum since his girlfriend suffered a miscarriage about 2½ weeks ago, said a friend, William Settje, 24.
Settje said he met Martis last Halloween at the Brass Monkey bar, where Martis spent the evening with his girlfriend.
“He was the captain, and she was his wench,” Settje said.
Settje became fast friends with Martis, whom he referred to as his “mate.”
Martis had a penchant for dressing as a pirate at parties. He did not sport an eye patch but often used pirate-related makeup and carried a sword, Settje said.
He was docile and never violent, he said.
“It's just so out of the norm. It's not like Jon. But for him to wield a sword toward an officer, I just can't see that,” Settje said.
He said Martis owned two swords, one purchased recently, that he kept hanging on a wall on the second floor of the home where he lived with his girlfriend.
Douglas County Court records showed that Martis has a long criminal history.
Among the charges he has faced are first-degree assault in 1999, use of deadly weapon to commit a felony in 2006 and, last year, drunken driving.
The Martis shooting was the second time in almost nine months that Omaha police shot a man wielding a sword.
Abraham A. Dawson, 25, was shot by police Sept. 10 after he threatened his 2-week-old baby at the Pine Tower apartments, 1500 Pine St.
Police said Dawson, who suffered from mental illness, was standing over the infant and refused to drop the weapon.
Officer Paul Milone shot Dawson, who died at the scene. A grand jury ruled that there was no criminal conduct in the shooting.
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