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Police arrest 16-year-old boy on first-degree murder charge over Omaha mall shooting

Police arrest 16-year-old boy on first-degree murder charge over Omaha mall shooting that killed one: Suspect’s brother, 18, is held as an ‘accessory’

  • Makhi Woolridge-Jones accused of killing 21-year-old Trequez Swift on Saturday
  • Brother, Brandon Woolridge-Jones, earlier arrested over claims he helped sibling
  • Ja’Keya Veland, 22, wounded in leg, but injuries not considered life-threatening
  • It was the second reported shooting at the Westroads Mall in little over a month 

Police arrested a 16-year-old boy on a first-degree murder charge Sunday over a shooting at an Omaha mall that killed one.    

Makhi Woolridge-Jones is accused of killing 21-year-old Trequez Swift at the Westroads Mall on Saturday. 

His brother, Brandon Woolridge-Jones, 18, was earlier arrested on a charge of being an accessory to the shooting.

His brother, Brandon Woolridge-Jones, 18, was earlier arrested on a charge of being an accessory to the shooting

Makhi Woolridge-Jones, 16, (left) was arrested for first-degree murder while his brother, Brandon Woolridge-Jones, 18, (right) was earlier arrested on a charge of being an accessory to the shooting.

The two young siblings were identified as brothers in a previous court filing their mother submitted in 2016 for a protection order. 

They have both been booked in at Douglas County Jail. 

Police said a third man has been identified as a person of interest in the shooting, but did not release his name.

Swift was shot and died in hospital, police said

Swift was shot and died in hospital, police said

Terrified shoppers fled for cover as shots rang out around midday near a J.C. Penney store at the mall, which saw another shooting earlier this month. 

Swift was shot and died at an Omaha hospital, police said. 

A woman, 22-year-old Ja’Keya Veland, was wounded in her leg, but her injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Authorities have not described the circumstances leading up to the shooting, but said it was an isolated incident and not a random attack. 

Saturday’s incident saw panic-stricken shoppers running for the exit at Westroads Mall as shots rang out. 

‘It was shocking,’ said Alyha Wills to the Omaha World Herald who was in Forever 21 with her sister when other shoppers asked if she’d heard the gunfire.

She then fled, saying, ‘I could hear it; it was close.’ 

Omaha Police Homicide Unit had asked for the public's help in identifying three 'persons of interest' over the incident (pictured is a grab from security camera footage released as part of the appeal

Omaha Police Homicide Unit had asked for the public’s help in identifying three ‘persons of interest’ over the incident (pictured is a grab from security camera footage released as part of the appeal 

Terrified shoppers fled for cover as shots rang out around midday near a J.C. Penney store at the mall, which saw another shooting earlier this month

Terrified shoppers fled for cover as shots rang out around midday near a J.C. Penney store at the mall, which saw another shooting earlier this month 

Officials had described the situation as a ‘potential active shooter’ situation, but at 1:15pm police said the suspects were thought to have fled the scene.  

This is the second reported shooting at Westroads Mall in a little more than a month. 

Omaha Police Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck was shot at four times by a 21-year-old man who was accused of shoplifting T-shirts from J.C. Penney on March 12. Wittstruck survived. 

The J.C. Penney is about 200 feet from Von Maur, where a gunman killed eight people and himself in 2007.  

Authorities have not described the circumstances leading up to the shooting, but said it was an isolated incident and not a random attack

Authorities have not described the circumstances leading up to the shooting, but said it was an isolated incident and not a random attack 

Ambulances responded to the scene for a potential 'active shooter' situation, but then police said later it was not a random attack.

The Westroads Mall, pictured when ambulances and other first responders got to the scene, also was the scene of a shooting earlier this month

Officials had described the situation as a ‘potential active shooter’ situation, but at 1:15pm police said the suspects were thought to have fled the scene. Pictured is the police and EMS response

Deputy Chief Ken Kanger tweeted Sunday: ‘Makhi Woolridge-Jones has been safely apprehended. Thanks again for all the communities help. 

‘The investigation is ongoing but two suspects now have been arrested. More info soon from the PIO. 

‘Tremendous work by all the Ofc’s & Detectives since the incident occurred.’    

Families were forced to run from the mall after an 'active shooter' situation was declared

Families were forced to run from the mall after an ‘active shooter’ situation was declared

Couples hugged with relief after making their way out of the shopping mall

Couples hugged with relief after making their way out of the shopping mall

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