She was the glue that held her family together. Her husband called her “supermom.''
Andrea L. Kruger had three children.
“We had the best of both worlds,” said Michael-Ryan Kruger, her husband. “I worked during the day, she stayed home with the kids and worked three nights a week.”
Andrea Kruger, 33, was returning home early Wednesday from her bartending shift at the Deja Vu Lounge near 178th and Pacific Streets.
She was found, shot multiple times, in the middle of 168th Street near Fort Street about 2:15 a.m., said Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning.
Authorities believe that someone drove away from the crime scene in her vehicle.
Chief Deputy Tom Wheeler said Thursday that investigators are following two routes that Kruger was known to drive from work to home.
“We’re trying to retrace her steps by checking with businesses along her usual paths to see if their video surveillance cameras captured her movements,” Wheeler said. “We’re asking anyone who may have seen Kruger or her vehicle to call us.”
Her gold 2012 Chevrolet Traverse was found about 6:30 p.m. in an alley near Walnut Hill School, 43rd and Charles Streets.
Authorities used an Omaha Fire Department rig to reach the roof of a nearby gun shop. A sheriff's deputy and firefighters climbed up one of the ladders, recovered items on the roof and placed them in a bag.
Investigators processed evidence at the scene, then towed the vehicle to the crime lab, Wheeler said.
“We are elated they found the vehicle and hopefully they will find clues to whoever killed her,” said Teri Roberts, Andrea Kruger's mother.
“She was a wonderful mother and wife,” she added.
No arrests have been announced.
Friends mourned the loss of Andrea Kruger at a candlelight vigil on the outdoor patio at Deja Vu. Some left flowers and wreaths near the crime scene.
Kruger, 35, described his wife as fit, petite and attractive. He said they were natives of Valley and lived near 144th and Fort Streets.
Kruger said he works at CM's Cut Above landscaping business. His wife of 4½ years stayed home during the day with their three children: Jadyn, 13, Ava, 4, and Hartley, 2. She worked nights at the bar until about 3 a.m.
Investigators are exploring whether the shooting was part of a carjacking, robbery or road rage incident.
Andrea Kruger was last seen at 1:47 a.m., locking up Deja Vu, Dunning said.
Kruger said that Ava was suffering from a fever and that he had spoken to his wife about 12:30 a.m. about getting some medicine for her. He said he fell asleep, awakened sometime after 4 a.m. and realized his wife hadn't arrived home.
Andrea L. Kruger
“I usually hear the garage door or the dog barking when she gets home,” he said.
He thought his wife would be home soon, but he saw a brief news item about an unidentified woman's body in the 168th and Fort intersection.
He asked a relative to watch the children and headed toward the intersection.
“That was always the route she took home,” he said. “168th Street (north) and then down (east) Fort Street.”
Kruger said he was met by sheriff's deputies a block from his home.
“That's when I knew it was her,” he said.
Deputies interviewed Kruger for two hours and reviewed his wife's cellphone records, he said.
“All she had were a couple of calls between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. from some regulars at the bar,” Kruger said.
Dunning said Kruger was ruled out as a suspect after the interview.
Andrea Kruger's brother, Ryan Roberts, 35, of Omaha, said: “We don't know a lot right now. The cops haven't told us a lot.”
“Maybe she was carjacked,” Roberts said.
Authorities had not ruled out the possibility of a second vehicle being connected to the shooting.
After the shooting, someone in the neighborhood reported seeing a vehicle going north on 168th Street at a high rate of speed. No description of the vehicle was provided.
Dunning said officials were also gathering videotape footage from security cameras at Deja Vu and nearby businesses.
Stephanie Blackman, a Deja Vu employee, said Andrea Kruger had worked at the bar for about a year.
“She was a wonderful friend,” Blackman said.
Andrea Kruger previously worked as a bartender at On the Rocks, 16919 Audrey St., from 2004 until June of last year, said Brian Houston, the bar's manager.
“I knew her when she was single, when she met her husband, I was there for her pregnancies. I considered us an extended family,” Houston said. “The whole thing is sad.”
“It's just such a waste.”
Funeral services for Kruger will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at StoneBridge Christian Church, 15801 Butler Ave. Visitation will be Sunday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Reichmuth Funeral Home at 21909 W. Maple Road.
Donations to the Andrea Kruger Memorial Fund are being accepted at all Union Bank and Trust Company locations.
World-Herald staff writers Kevin Cole, Emerson Clarridge, Melissa Matczak and Maggie O'Brien contributed to this report.
Video of police taking away shooting victim Andrea L. Kruger's vehicle for further investigation.
Video: Press conference with Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning
Updates from the 3 p.m. press conference