OPD Provides Update on Christmas Eve Officer-Involved Shooting

Photo: Getty Images

(Omaha, NE) -- The Omaha Police Department releases another update on last Thursday's officer-involved shooting.

On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, two Omaha officers were dispatched to the scene of a 911 disturbance call at a home near 41st Avenue and Hillside. The caller, 37-year-old Justin Michalak, said he was having a disturbance with his mother, claiming his mother "was possessed and controlling him with her mind".

Officers Josiah Warren and Aaron Thompson found 66-year-old Deborah Michalak on the front lawn of the house screaming, "please help, he's cutting his throat".

The officers entered to the home, following Deborah to find Justin. He was sitting in a chair, wearing a blood-soaked shirt, and holding a knife. Police say Justin was shouting and cutting himself near the front of the body near his throat with the knife. Deborah began struggling with Justin as Officer Warren commanded Justin to drop the knife.

OPD says Justin repeatedly screamed ‘shoot me’ and began to stand up with the knife in his hand, moving toward Officer Warren. Investigators say Officer Warren deployed his taser, but Justin refused to drop the knife. According to an OPD media release, Justin then charged toward Officer Warren and as he lunged with the knife, Officer Warren deployed his taser a second time.

Justin fell to the floor, and attempted to charge Deborah with the knife. Justin grabbed her, raising the knife towards her upper body. Officer Warren fired his weapon and struck Justin in the left cheek with the bullet exiting through the left ear.

Justin and Deborah both fell to the floor. Officers rushed to get Deborah to safety and to provide aid to Justin.

Monday evening, the Omaha Police Department provided updates, saying Justin in now in fair condition and stable from his self-inflicted knife wounds, as well as the gunshot wound.

Following the completion of his treatment, Justin will spend time at the Douglas County jail. Michalak is facing charges of felony assault, attempted felony assault on an officer, and felony assault of an officer.

Deborah was hospitalized for a short period of time for a cut she suffered on her right hand. Police say the cut was sustained during a struggle with Justin.

Officer Warren is on administrative leave pending the results of the ongoing investigation.

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