An Omaha family that has suffered gun violence on two previous occasions absorbed the blow of having the city’s first homicide victim of 2019.
Jacque S. Holbert IV, 21, was fatally wounded Sunday about 1:40 a.m. while lying in bed near 38th and Burdette Streets, police said. Paramedics tried to revive Holbert as he was rushed to the Nebraska Medical Center, where he died.
Relatives were told that the shots had come from outside the house.
Omaha’s first homicide victim in more than four months became the third person in Holbert’s immediate family to be killed on the streets of Omaha, said his grandmother, Alice Pollard. Also killed were his father, Jacque S. Holbert III, on Sept. 15, 1997, and an uncle, Travis Holbert, on June 28, 2015.
“This is too much,” Pollard said Sunday morning while standing on her porch. “They shot my boys and now they’ve shot my grandson.”
Travis Holbert, then 25, was shot to death in 2015 while sitting on Pollard’s porch near 33rd and Burdette Streets. The North High graduate was remembered in a teacher’s letter to the Public Pulse as “a great kid” and “a positive force in high school, a great friend to everyone who knew him, a hard worker and a beloved son.”
The father of the latest homicide victim was just 16 when he was fatally shot while riding in a car near 44th and Burt Streets. His assailant was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving a sentence of 30 to 50 years.
Pollard said her grandson was a graduate of Omaha Central High School who loved his family and tried to steer away from trouble. She said she had warned him that the house where he was shot was not a safe place.
“Someone had shot up that house a couple of times before,” Pollard said. “I told him that he should stay away from there, but he just said not to worry.”
The family will need some time to discuss options before making funeral arrangements, Pollard said.
“I can’t believe we have to go through this again,” she said. “I’m waiting on his mother to come over so we can talk.”
The homicide was the first reported in the city in 125 days. In fact, no homicides were recorded for 106 straight days at the end of 2018, a streak not seen by the Omaha Police Department since at least the 1960s.
Twenty-two people were homicide victims in Omaha in 2018, the lowest number in 14 years. Department officials said achieving those milestones was a credit to continuing cooperation between police and the community, along with increased communication and hard work among the Police Department’s homicide, gang and assault units.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at 402-444-STOP or at omahacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $25,000 for information that leads to an arrest in a homicide.