Sheriff: Andrea Kruger's death appears to be 'random' act of violence

Relatives, friends and members of the community pray for Michael-Ryan Kruger on Thursday during a vigil at the scene of of his wife's slaying. They gathered Thursday at the site at 168th and Fort Streets where Andrea L. Kruger, wife and mother of three, was found slain.

Andrea Kruger's death appears to have been a “random” act of violence, Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning said Friday.

The sheriff said he does not believe Kruger, a 33-year-old married mother of three, was targeted. Her body was found early Wednesday near 168th and Fort Streets.

“We believe it was random,” Dunning said at a press conference.

Dunning said no suspects had been taken into custody. He asked anyone with information about the case to call authorities.

Kruger, a bartender, was shot multiple times sometime after she closed the Deja Vu Lounge near 178th and Pacific Streets. Dunning said authorities had not identified anyone at the bar who had given Kruger trouble.

Kruger may have made a stop on her way home. Dunning said there was a 21-minute gap from when she locked up the bar at 1:47 a.m. and when deputies responded to a shots-fired call at 2:08 a.m.

“We are not sure when she came into contact with her killer or killers,” Chief Deputy Tom Wheeler said. “It could have been at 168th and Fort, or it could have been earlier.”

The killer left Kruger's body in the street.

Someone drove off in her SUV and abandoned it near 43rd and Charles Streets about 4:45 a.m. after trying to set it on fire, Dunning said. Omaha police found the vehicle about 6:15 p.m.

The sheriff indicated that the vehicle, a 2012 Chevrolet Traverse, has been spotted on a surveillance tape obtained by investigators.

He said authorities have not identified a second vehicle believed to have sped away from the shooting scene on 168th Street.

Dunning declined to answer several questions, including whether investigators have found a weapon or whether they had a “person of interest.”

“I can't comment on that,” he said repeatedly.

The death of Kruger has captured the city's interest. A prayer vigil was held Thursday. A memorial page on Facebook had garnered nearly 30,000 “likes” by Friday afternoon. Kruger's funeral will be Monday.

Dunning warned people to be cautious while driving because the killer hasn't been arrested. He urged residents to call authorities if they see any suspicious activity.

“Obviously, we have a killer on the loose,” Dunning said.

“Be alert to your surroundings, trust your instincts and do not take unreasonable risks,” he added.

Deputies had received about a dozen tips through the Douglas County tip line. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the anonymous tip line at 402-444-6000.

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