Man injured in shooting near Capitol is charged

Tareik Artis The 18-year-old faces a maximum of 123 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

LINCOLN — An 18-year-old Lincoln man faces four felony charges related to an incident last week near the State Capitol in which he was critically wounded by a Lancaster County deputy.

The deputy involved in the shooting, meanwhile, has been cleared in an internal investigation.

Deputy Jeffrey Moeller, a 22-year veteran of law enforcement, has returned to duty, Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner said Monday in a press release.

Moeller, 44, and a deputy U.S. marshal fired several shots Sept. 22 that critically wounded Tareik Artis. The midday shooting occurred across the street from the Capitol after Artis fled on foot from a nearby traffic stop.

The U.S. Marshals Office is conducting its own internal investigation and has not released the identity of the deputy, who is on leave.

Artis underwent surgery last week and remained hospitalized Monday, Lincoln Police Sgt. Randy Clark said Monday. An arrest warrant has been issued for Artis, and once he is discharged from medical care, he will be taken to jail, Clark added.

A complaint filed with the arrest warrant in Lancaster County Court charges Artis with three felony drug counts and possession of a firearm while committing a felony. If convicted on all four charges, he faces a maximum of 123 years in prison.

"Numerous witnesses ... saw Artis point the pistol toward a uniformed deputy sheriff on South 14th, just south of Lincoln Mall, as the officers were giving loud verbal commands for Artis to stop and drop the weapon," the sheriff's release stated.

In an affidavit for the arrest warrant, Lincoln Police Sgt. Kenneth Koziol said the deputy was in pursuit when he saw Artis running on the west side of the Capitol building across South 14th Street. The deputy said he saw a black pistol in Artis' right hand.

"The deputy shot at Artis and simultaneously heard a U.S. marshal shoot at Artis," the affidavit stated. "Artis fell to the ground, wounded, and was taken into custody."

Investigators recovered a .45-caliber handgun and 22 rounds of ammunition loaded in three magazines, the affidavit stated. In addition, they found 20 tablets of what they suspect are the prescription drugs oxycodone and Xanax along with several grams of cocaine and marijuana from a white plastic cylinder that was near the spot where Artis fell.

The deputy's decision to fire at Artis was consistent with the Sheriff's Office's policy on using lethal force in the face of a deadly threat to law enforcement personnel or others, the release added.

Contact the writer: 402-473-9587, joe.duggan@owh.com

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