Omaha police are beefing up security at the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge after a man was shot there early Thursday.

It was the second violent encounter on the bridge in the last month.

About 1:45 a.m. Thursday, Chiok D. Tut, 20, was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center in critical condition after being shot, according to a Douglas County 911 dispatcher. Tut suffered a single gunshot wound, Omaha police said.

A juvenile was arrested in connection with the shooting, police said Thursday afternoon. The bridge, at 705 Riverfront Drive, was closed until about 11 a.m. for the investigation.

On April 29, a man walking home from work was accosted on the bridge and assaulted, police say. The man fended off his attackers with a pocket knife, sending them to the hospital.

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That assault took place about 7 p.m. on a Monday. Andrew Poeckes told Council Bluffs police that he was walking back to his Bluffs home and saw two men hassling people on the bridge.

He said he tried to avoid them, but they followed him to the Council Bluffs side of the bridge, where they began to hit him. two men, ages 19 and 27, were arrested in that case.

The bridge is open 24 hours a day except during bad weather.

Steps to improve security were already underway before Thursday’s shooting.

  • Omaha police have a riverfront patrol unit that patrols on and around the bridge. In response to recent problems, police plan more patrols by the riverfront unit and gang officers.
  • New, brighter LED lights are being installed on the bridge and should be operational by mid-June.
  • Additional security cameras are being purchased and will be installed across the entire span of the bridge. Currently, cameras are on the plaza leading to the base of the bridge on the Nebraska side.

At nearly the same time that Tut was shot, at 1:47 a.m. Thursday, police received a call about a shooting near Spring Lake Golf Course.

Rico Minzel, 19, was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center in critical condition. That shooting, at 16th and Phelps Streets, occurred about 3½ miles from the first shooting.

Minzel told police that he was walking outside when he was attacked with pepper spray and shot. He suffered one gunshot wound, officials said.

Information on the medical conditions of both victims was not being released at the request of their families.

Anyone with information about either shooting should contact Crime Stoppers at 402-444-STOP or at omahacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward of $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest in a shooting.

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