Omaha Police release details surrounding Thursday crash, shooting

OMAHA, Neb. -- The Omaha Police Department is continuing their investigation of a Thursday incident that has been ruled an in-custody death. Authorities identified the victim as 26-year-old Nigel Phillips.

While the police were investigating, detectives said they identified a witness who saw Phillips run from the scene of the car accident armed with a handgun. He had been last seen running north and west from the scene, according to reports.

Police said there were other officers that formed a perimeter in the area, and they watched Phillips run south through houses in the 3600 block of Laurel Avenue.  

Officers said Phillips was seen behind a residence where he proceeded to take his own life after an officer gave him a verbal command to drop the handgun.  

A press release issued by Omaha Police said body camera footage supported the officers’ statements and showed that no Omaha Police officers fired their weapons. Police reports say Phillips' fatal shot was the only one fired. Officers said upon investigation, Phillips was holding a handgun that had been stolen in October 2020 and he sustained a fatal wound.  

An autopsy was completed Saturday, indicating that Phillips had died from a single gunshot wound to the head that was from close range.