Before he fired, police officer saw suspect raise gun toward him - Omaha.com
Published Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 12:51 pm
Before he fired, police officer saw suspect raise gun toward him

A man wounded in an officer-­involved shooting had raised a gun toward the Omaha police officer who ultimately shot him, police said Friday.

Deandre E. Crittenden picked up a .45-caliber handgun from the ground and raised it toward Officer Paul Hasiak, according to police.

Hasiak fired multiple times.

Crittenden, 30, was taken to Creighton University Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition Friday. He is expected to survive, police said.

Hasiak, an 8˝-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department, was placed on paid administrative leave. That is standard department policy during investigations into officer-involved shootings. Officer Eric Meads also was placed on paid administrative leave.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer released a statement backing his officers' actions.

Schmaderer said officers “are trained to intervene in dangerous life-threatening situations to protect the citizens of Omaha. Police officers have the legal authority to utilize deadly force to defend themselves and others from serious bodily injury or death. In this incident, Officer Hasiak feared for his safety and discharged his firearm in defense of himself.”

Relatives of Crittenden could not be reached for comment.

The shooting occurred about 8:10 p.m. Thursday near 44th and Ruggles Streets.

Police on Friday gave this account in a statement:

Hasiak and Meads were doing routine patrol in the area of 44th and Pratt Streets when they heard gunfire. Shotspotter, the city's gunfire alert program, also registered the shots as having been fired between 44th Street and 44th Avenue on Pratt.

The officers spotted a black two-door Chevrolet Tahoe driving east on Pratt from the direction of the gunfire.

They noticed that the driver's window was partly down, which they considered strange on a cold, snowy evening. They decided to investigate.

Hasiak and Meads watched the Tahoe park outside 4416 Ruggles St. — the home of Crittenden's mother. Crittenden, alone in the vehicle, got out and ran.

Meads said he saw Crittenden armed with a handgun.

The officers shouted “show me your hands” and other commands, and communicated to each other, “He's got a gun in his hand.” Police said the commands were recorded on a video recorder inside the officers' cruiser.

Crittenden ran to the rear of a house at 3915 N. 44th St. While in the driveway on the south side of the house, Hasiak came face-to-face with Crittenden and noticed that he had dropped the handgun.

The handgun was “directly in front of Crittenden and well within Crittenden's reach.''

Hasiak saw Crittenden “reach down and pick up the handgun and raise it up toward Officer Hasiak,'' according to the police statement.

Hasiak fired his weapon, striking Crittenden multiple times.

The officers radioed a “help an officer” call as Crittenden's friends and relatives arrived. Police said the handgun was found at the scene. They said they also found spent shell casings from the gun near 44th and Pratt, where the Shotspotter call originated.

Crittenden faces possible felony gun charges stemming from the incident.

Crittenden was sent to prison in 2001 for attempted robbery and use of a firearm to commit a felony, according to Douglas County court records. He served almost 2˝ years.

When he was 24, Crittenden was critically injured after getting into a fight at the International House of Pancakes restaurant on North 72nd Street, according to World-Herald reports in 2009.

He was found guilty of assault and battery in 2009 and sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Crittenden also got into trouble in his early teens when he was placed on probation and ordered by a judge to wear an ankle monitoring device, court records show.

He was placed in the custody of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and spent some time in a group home and juvenile correctional facilities.

World-Herald staff writer Alissa Skelton contributed to this report.

Contact the writer: Maggie O'Brien

maggie.o'brien@owh.com    |   402-444-3100    |  

Maggie is a cops and breaking news reporter for Omaha.com.

17 senators in Nebraska Legislature hit their (term) limits
Convicted killer Nikko Jenkins might await his sentence in prison
Crews working to subdue brush fire that may spread to Fontenelle Forest
It's a pursuit of pastel at Spring Lake Park's Easter egg hunt
Financial picture improving for city-owned Mid-America Center
No injuries after fire at midtown's old Mercer Mansion
29-year-old Omahan arrested for 22nd time in Lincoln
Police: Slaying of woman in Ralston apartment likely over drugs
Explosion near 29th, Woolworth damages vehicles
Omaha police arrest man, 19, accused in March shooting
Earth gets its day in the sun at Elmwood Park
Beau McCoy strikes Obama doll in TV ad; Democrats are not happy
Keystone XL pipeline backers blast 'political expediency' as foes hail ruling to delay decision
Nebraska senators to study tax issues over break
Portion of Saddle Creek Road closed after water main break
Teenager arrested after woman's purse is snatched outside Omaha store
Police identify 21-year-old shot in ankle near 30th, W Streets
Cult murderer's death row appeal denied, but execution in limbo
Interstate construction to cause lane shifts, closings in Omaha area
Kelly: A California university president returns to her Nebraska roots on Ivy Day
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
Friday's attendance dips at Millard West after bathroom threat
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
Haze in area comes from Kansas, Oklahoma
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Dickson’s Week in Review, April 13-19
On Twitter some guy tweeted that the spring game isn’t taken as seriously as a regular-season contest. What was your first clue? When the head coach entered waving a cat aloft?
Kelly: A California university president returns to her Nebraska roots on Ivy Day
The main speaker at today's Ivy Day celebration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a college president who grew up roping calves and earned her Ph.D. at the prestigious Oxford University in England.
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »