Veteran officer wounded after suspect opens fire during traffic stop: Police

A bodycam apparently captured the tense moments when a Nebraska police officer pulled over a suspect who brandished his gun and shot him in the shoulder.

In a detailed account released to the public, the Omaha Police Department said Ken Fortune, 42, a member of the department’s Gang Unit, and two other officers conducted a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon. Police said the driver of the vehicle, Brandon Richey, drove off as officers approached the car.

Fortune was on foot when he reportedly caught up with the car and attempted to place stop sticks under the tires. It was then when passenger John Ezell, Jr. pointed a gun at Fortune and said, “What’s going on,” according to police.

Ezell is said to have immediately opened fire, with the bullet piercing through Fortune’s microphone and hitting him in the shoulder. After Fortune collapsed, Ezell allegedly exited the car and opened fire on officer Jeffrey Wasmund, who was standing on the passenger side of a police cruiser.

After a brief exchange of gunfire between Ezell, Wasmund, and another officer, police reportedly wounded Ezell several times and took him into custody.

Police said all three officers involved in Tuesday’s incident were wearing body cameras. The body cam footage has not been released to the public.

“Body-worn camera footage clearly shows the officers’ use of deadly force to be justified,” Chief Todd Schmaderer said in the statement.

Ezell and Fortune suffered non-life threatening injuries. Fortune, who has been with the force since 2007, is reportedly scheduled to undergo surgery.

Once released from the hospital, Ezell is expected to be charged with attempted murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony. The Omaha World-Herald noted that Ezell was released in March after serving five years in prison for unlawful transport of a firearm. He is currently on probation due to that conviction.

Richey, the alleged getaway driver, was charged with accessory to a felony and felony flight to avoid arrest. He also has a prior felony conviction.

[Featured image: Omaha Police Department]