An 18-year-old man who police say was driving a stolen car was fatally shot by a friend of the car’s owner Monday in Council Bluffs.
Ethan B. Edgar of Hutchinson, Kansas, was struck twice — in the upper back and on the right thigh — after friends of the car’s owner encountered him at a gas station.
Jonathan Echtinaw, 25, of Omaha was the only person to fire shots during the altercation, Council Bluffs police said. Matt Wilber, the Pottawattamie County attorney, will present the case to a grand jury to determine whether Echtinaw will face criminal charges.
According to Council Bluffs police, Edgar was driving a black 2009 Nissan 370Z, which was reported stolen to Omaha police about 2 a.m. Monday. The owner of the Nissan and many friends in other vehicles were looking for the car and had information that it was in various spots around Council Bluffs.
Friends in two separate cars, a blue Honda Civic and a silver Toyota Camry, encountered Edgar and the Nissan parked at the Fas Mart near South Main Street and Ninth Avenue shortly before 5:20 p.m. Monday.
The Honda pulled in front of the Nissan, blocking its forward path, while the Toyota parked in the back. Edgar put the Nissan in reverse and accelerated, hitting the Toyota, then drove forward.
Echtinaw, who was in the front passenger seat of the Toyota, fired multiple shots at the Nissan though his open window, police said. The three cars rammed into each other several times and Echtinaw continued to shoot. Investigators later found 12 spent 9 mm shell casings at the scene, all of which came from one gun, officials said.
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Edgar drove the Nissan north on Main Street and the other two cars chased him, but Edgar lost control at Main Street and Fifth Avenue and crashed into a tree. He was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center, where he died.
The people in the Toyota and Honda were interviewed by police.
“After reviewing all the known evidence with the County Attorney’s Office, it was decided that no one would be immediately arrested,” police said.