Teenager will stand trial for murder in Omaha mall shooting

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A teenager will stand trial for first-degree murder in the death of a man at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Makhi Woolridge-Jones, 16, of Omaha, will also be tried for first-degree assault and two firearms charges in the death of Trequez Swift, 21, and the injuring of 22-year-old Ja’Keya Veland, The Omaha World-Herald reported.

The April 17 shooting, which caused panicked shoppers to flee, was gang-related, authorities have said.

Omaha Police Detective Matei Jackson, with the homicide unit, testified that the suspect, Swift and people with them argued before Swift ran when Woolridge-Jones showed a gun.

Woolridge-Jones fired a total of four shots at Swift, hitting him twice, while chasing him in the mall. Swift eventually collapsed and died later at a hospital.

One of Swift’s friends fired at Woolridge-Jones but the shots did not hit anyone, police said.

Swift’s public defender, Christine Mori, said the shooting occurred after a sudden quarrel and that a second-degree murder or manslaughter charge was more fitting.