Police took cover Wednesday as a man fired out the window of the west Omaha apartment. Bullets struck a civilian vehicle.
Minutes before, police say, the man had opened fire at the Parliament Pub, in a shopping center nearly a mile west. No one was hit at either location.
Ultimately a negotiator talked him out of the apartment building.
“The individual eventually gave himself up,” said Deputy Chief David Baker of the Omaha Police Department. “We’re very fortunate there was no loss of life.”
Police took Dwight L. Rodgers, 63, into custody. Investigators suspect him of shooting up the pub, at 16939 Wright Plaza in the Shops of Legacy shopping center, southwest of 168th Street and West Center Road. They did not describe a motive. Rodgers was booked into the Douglas County Jail on Wednesday night on suspicion of five counts of attempted murder, two counts of terroristic threats, seven counts of use of a weapon to commit a felony, and one count of felony criminal mischief, police said.
As gunfire tore through the pub, the staff at All Seasons Floral & Gifts a few doors away locked their doors. As Valerie Elsasser, a florist-designer, locked the back door, she noticed a woman behind the building, screaming into her phone.
“Every time a shot rang out, she screamed more. So I was afraid for her,” Elsasser said.
Elsasser pulled the woman into the shop and locked the door. The woman wanted to leave, repeatedly saying that her boyfriend was still in the bar and fearing the worst. All they could do was hold her back and console her.
After shooting up the pub, Baker said, the man then fled to Breckenridge Apartments, a complex of three-story buildings just southeast of 160th Street and West Center Road, where the standoff occurred.
He surrendered just before 3:10 p.m.
On Thursday, police identified the law enforcement involved as Douglas County Sheriff's Deputies Joseph Martinec Jr., Andrew Woodward and Jason Stehlik, and Omaha Police Officers Joshua Downs and Jeffrey Vaughn.
On Thursday, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer issued a statement praising the actions of the men:
"I want to take a moment to publicly acknowledge the Omaha Police Officers and the Douglas County Sheriff Deputies who responded to yesterday's active shooter. It is through your professional handling of the incident that lives were not lost. The public can take comfort in knowing law enforcement in the Omaha area is trained, equipped and prepared to address spontaneous acts of violence. Thank you Omaha for your support and willingness to stand with us to protect our City."
Hours after the incident, the door of Parliament Pub was shattered. There were several large holes in the windows of the foyer. Inside, broken glass was piled on the floor and across the wooden bar.
The business was closed and a crew was making repairs.
Mike Miller, a co-owner, said police had asked him not to comment until the investigation was complete.
“We’re shocked,” he said. “And this is crazy.”
World-Herald staff writer Kevin Cole contributed to this report.