OMAHA, Neb. —[2:41 p.m. UPDATE] Omaha police say three officers had no choice but to respond the way they did to an armed robbery at a fast-food restaurant Tuesday night that left the suspect and a television crew member dead.
More At a news conference Wednesday, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer identified the armed robbery suspect as Cortez Washington, 32. He was struck by gunfire and pronounced dead at the Nebraska Medical Center.
One 'Cops' television crew member accompanying a responding officer was also struck by gunfire and later died. He was identified as Bryce Dion, 38.
Omaha police said the incident began as an armed robbery at the Wendy's restaurant near 43rd and Dodge streets.
Det. Darren Cunningham called for backup around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, police said.
Officers Brooks Riley and Jason Wilhelm, who were accompanied by a two-member crew with 'Cops,' immediately responded.
Police said the three officers entered the restaurant, and three witnesses confirmed that Washington was holding a handgun and discharged it in the direction of Officers Cunningham and Riley.
Officers Cunningham, Riley and Wilhelm returned fire, striking Washington. Washington left the restaurant and collapsed outside.
Dion was also struck by gunfire as Washington ran from the scene. Dion later died from his injuries.
Schmaderer said the shooting was captured on video by the production crew, and it has been entered into evidence. Schmaderer said he has personally reviewed the video and determined "officers had no choice but to respond in the manner in which they did."
It was later determined the gun Washington had was an Airsoft gun. Schmaderer said it looked like and sounded like a real handgun.
A grand jury will review the evidence, Schmaderer said.
The three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid-administrative leave, as is standard policy in officer-involved shootings.