Omaha, NE – An Omaha man who lives just a few blocks from the Hy-Vee where shots were fired Tuesday night had stopped at the 180th and Q location last night to pick up some empty boxes to use for his six new puppies.
Law Enforcement Today has learned from investigators that 21-year-old Jacob Muhle had fired a number of shots at cars and inside the grocery store.
“I took two steps in and heard ‘pop-pop.’ Turned around and saw a kid with a gun shooting at cars. I ran back in and said, ‘shooter. Get down,” Tom Wenzl said.
Over the years, Wenzl, of Omaha, thought long and hard about what he would do if he ever found himself in an active shooter situation.
“There are some tough things that have happened in my life and brought me to that point. I also said that when the Von Maur shooting happened. What would I do? I’m not one who runs away,” said Wenzl.
“When he went left, I hauled ass. The first checkout had a cart. Same for the second check-out. The 3rd one was empty. I boogied in there. I hunkered down — he was in 5 or 6 — I crouched and waited. When he came through, that’s when I tackled him,” said Wenzl.
Deputy Chief Scott Gray had been shopping last night at the Hy-Vee and heard the shots. He rushed over to secure the suspect’s gun — and broke some bones in his hand in the process.
“Most important thing is no one was seriously injured. Only minor injuries. We are really fortunate this situation didn’t turn out worse,” Gray said.
“He said ‘two more seconds and that kid would be dead. I had him in my sights and ready to pull,'” said Wenzl. “I asked him why was doing this and he kept saying, ‘you’re not a hero. You’re not a hero.’ I don’t think he intended to shoot anyone. I think he wanted death by cop.”
Wenzl certainly doesn’t consider himself a hero.
He just reacted. Instinct took over. He had wrestled as a young man and was a bouncer and worked security over the years.
Deputy Chief Gray, as well as many people social media pages, agree, what Tom did was heroic, saving lives.
The alleged shooter lives with his father a few blocks from the grocery store. The elder Muhle learned of the incident when he arrived home Tuesday night and police were at his house.
Father of the young man who shot up the grocery store in west Omaha talked to us about his troubled son. We also talked to someone whose car was struck by gunfire. https://t.co/y5Sw5KKlj5
— Kevin Cole (@KevinColeOmaha) March 18, 2020
“I’m still trying to figure out why he did it,” Richard Muhle said Wednesday. “He’s got severe depression, and I think that he was trying to get someone to shoot him.”
Richard Muhle said his son does maintenance work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. (UNO said Muhle worked for a company contracted by the university to manage student housing, but he no longer is employed there.)
Muhle has been booked on a number of charges including attempted felony assault. Fortunately, this incident went without major injury or death to anyone.
This isn’t the first time in the past few days that and off-duty LEO stopped a mass-casualty situation from happening. .
On March 14th, there was an instance of an off-duty Border Patrol agent who was at the right place at the right time. He potentially saved several lives who were out doing some shopping.
Authorities from the Midland Police Department have stated that Jose Gomez had admitted to stabbing four individuals inside of the Sam’s Club over the weekend.
While police have not gotten an understanding as to why the stabbing occurred in the first place, the suspect was taken into custody thanks to a Border Patrol agent who happened to be at the scene as it played out.
My brother stopped a mass stabbing today. Here is the father of the family of the family that was attacked with a cut across his face, both of his kids were attacked and cut across the face as well before by brother tackled and disarmed the attacker
— payton (@OwenPayton) March 15, 2020
The incident took place at around 7:30 p.m. that evening, when Gomez allegedly stabbed two children and two adults inside of the store.
One of the victims was an employee of the store who’d approached Gomez after catching wind of customers being stabbed.
The off-duty agent, who has been reported as Agent Bernie Ramirez, intervened. Agent Ramirez drew his weapon and managed to disarm the 19-year-old suspect and detain him until police arrived.
All of the injured victims were then transported to the Midland Memorial Hospital.
This is what selfless service looks like. BP Agent Bernie Ramirez reunites w/ Sam’s Club employee Zach Owen days after both intervened during a stabbing incident inside Sam’s in Midland, Tx. Owens’s hand was cut and he was stabbed in the leg too. #HonorFirst @SamsClub @USBPChief pic.twitter.com/RXSXk735WJ
— Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak (@USBPChiefBBT) March 16, 2020
Of the four victims injured in the stabbing, three were already released from the hospital at the time of this writing. The fourth individual injured, who was cited as having non-life-threatening injuries, is expected to be released soon as well.
Gomez is facing three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault for the incident.
The FBI has also gotten involved in the investigation and have reason to believe that there may have been some sort of racial motivation associated with the stabbings.
🔴🇺🇸 #Breaking Please #Share & follow up with this knife stabbing bias gruesome #HateCrime of whole entire family at #SamsClub including victim of a very young child‼️ #BringAwareness don’t sweep it under rug. https://t.co/mRczS0D4qg
— Lｉｎdａ Wａｎg 王憲苓 (@LoveLindaWang) March 17, 2020
Speaking of incidents involving stabbings, we’d recently gotten an update on the suspect who allegedly stabbed a police officer in Rochester, New York back in January.
Reports have surfaced that a man accused of stabbing a police officer in the face had his bail reduced from $75,000 to $25,000.
Jamal Dima is the 20-year-old accused of stabbing Officer Brian Cala in January (more on that below) with a five-inch knife in Glendale park. He’s currently facing charges under aggravated assault on an officer and criminal mischief.
Dima is said to be heading back in court in May of this year with his trial to begin some time in August.
Here’s the background on what led to Dima’s arrest.
Police Officer Brian Cala was reportedly stabbed in the face in Rochester during an altercation with a suspect over reports of criminal mischief on January 26th of 2020.
Officials stated at the time that Officer Cala was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries and that the suspect was taken into custody shortly thereafter.
However, that incident had marked the second time in a four-month period that a Rochester Police officer was stabbed by a suspect in the line of duty.
During the January incident, the Rochester Police Department dispatched a unit to the scene after a call came in regarding a 20-year-old male engaging in criminal mischief in the neighborhood of Glendale Park late in the afternoon.
Officials from the Rochester Police Department stated that after Officer Cala arrived at the scene and was attacked, reportedly being stabbed in the upper body and face from the knife-wielding suspect he encountered.
One of the officers present during the altercation shot at the male suspect, striking him in the upper body.
Officer Cala was described as a 20-year veteran of the force.
A foot pursuit ensued after the assault on the officer, where the suspect was later apprehended on Dewey Avenue.
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The officer was taken to the Strong Memorial Hospital and was said to be expected to recover from the encounter at the time.
The suspect who sustained the gunshot wound was transported over to the Rochester General Hospital. Police say he is expected to recover.
An investigation ensued as to what may have prompted the suspect to launch an attack at responding officers. When the suspect appeared in court on January 28th, he pled not guilty to the charges.
"Shots fired! Male stabbed! Suspect running!"
Hear the harrowing 911 call from this morning where an RPD officer was stabbed during an altercation on Glendale Park. The suspect was taken into custody after a short foot chase. #ROC pic.twitter.com/0VT3Z0smkI
— News 8 – WROC-TV (@News_8) January 26, 2020
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren released the following statement about the incident:
“Our police officers put themselves at risk every time they put on their uniform. Sadly, today, one of Rochester’s finest was injured while protecting our city.
While I am heartened to hear that the injured officer will be released from the hospital and heading home soon, I ask all of our residents to pray for him and his family. I am thankful that no one was more seriously injured in this incident and wish our officer a quick and full recovery.”
The latest stabbing of an officer came just months after another law enforcement official was stabbed several times back in early October in Rochester. When called out to a domestic disturbance on Friday, October 4th, 2019, Officer Denny Wright was attacked by a 28-year-old man toting a knife.
Officer Wright was also a 20-year-veteran to the department, according to Deputy Chief Mark Mura.
The officer arrived at a home located on Peck Street to investigate the call at around 11:45 a.m. that morning. The lone officer was then attacked by the suspect, getting stabbed several times in the upper and lower body.
The officer assaulted had fired one round from his weapon during the attack, but had missed the suspect. A local resident, Lydell Weatherspoon, was made aware of the commotion going on in the Peck Street home and helped the officer.
When speaking to a local news crew, Weatherspoon described the blood covering the officer inside the home:
“Couldn’t see the officer at all, all you saw was red. That’s how I know he immediately needed help.”
After the intervention of both bystanders and other responding officers, the suspect was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for what was described as an evaluation.
Witnesses reported that the suspect had a history of perceived mental illness or issues. Officer Wright was then immediately taken to the Rochester General Hospital where he was listed as being in serious, but stable condition.
After the incident that played out in October, Police Chief Singletary stated that all Rochester Police cars will have two officers in them from there on. The chief noted that officer safety is the number one concern moving forward:
“As Chief, my concern is for the overall well-being of my officers.”
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