A routine traffic stop became nearly deadly for a police officer who was shot at by the passenger of the car. The Omaha, Nebraska police officer’s bodycam shows the horrifying event unfold, as a gang member points a gun in his face before twice shooting at him. John Ezell Jr. is seen pointing a gun at the officers who pulled over the vehicle.
He then proceeds to jump out of the passenger seat of the car and begin shooting. The police officer shot back seven times at the suspect.
Ezell is now recovering in the hospital and will be arrested once released for two counts of attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and two counts of use of a weapon to commit a felony. He was out on federal probation for “unlawful transport of a firearm.”
Officer Ken Fortune was injured during the incident, with a bullet passing through the microphone on his vest and hitting him in the shoulder. Despite falling to the ground, he was still able to handcuff the second suspect. He is now recovering in the hospital.
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer noted that the officers involved were “justified in using deadly force” in this situation, as “body worn camera footage clearly shows.”
The car’s driver, Brandon Richey, will be charged with accessory to a felony and felony flight to avoid arrest, according to police, as he attempted to speed away from police when they displayed their siren as they tried to stop him.
The police chief reports that: “Officer Ken Fortune, the front passenger officer, got out of the police car and attempted to place Stop Sticks underneath the rear tire in an attempt to prevent the vehicle from driving away again. This attempt missed, and the vehicle turned north on to 30th Street, stopping approximately two car lengths from the corner of 30th & Laurel Streets.”
Additionally, his report explains: “Officer Fortune picked up the Stop Stick and ran to the stopped vehicle and placed it underneath the front passenger tire. Just as Officer Fortune turned to address the passenger, later identified as John Ezell Jr, the passenger door opened and Ezell pointed a handgun at Officer Fortune as Ezell said ‘What’s going on?’”
“Ezell immediately fired at Officer Fortune, striking him in his radio microphone, with the round traveling through the microphone and into his shoulder. Officer Fortune fell to the ground,” the report continues.
The three officers are now on administrative leave, per their department policy, while an investigation into the incident is conducted.
The police chief further shared how thankful they are that their officer is recovering, noting: “September 11th is a trying day for Law Enforcement and the Omaha Police Department in particular. On September 11, 2003, Sergeant Jason Pratt was shot (and died days later) in the line of duty; on September 11, 2018 Officer Ken Fortune was shot in the line of duty, we are fortunate he appears to be recovering from his wound as it could have been much worse.”