The Omaha police officer who shot Target shooting suspect Joseph Jones on January 31, 2023, has been identified as Brian Vanderheiden.
Joseph Jones entered a Target store in Omaha, Nebraska, with an AR-15 rifle and opened fire. Police officers, including Brian Vanderheiden, responded to the scene after receiving reports of an active shooter. They confronted Joseph Jones before Vanderheiden shot him. The gunman was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a press release on February 1, Omaha Police Department identified the suspect and officer who shot him.
Who is Brian Vanderheiden?
Brian Vanderheiden has served the Omaha Police Department for two decades and has been placed on paid administrative leave as per department policy, police said in a press release.
In 2015, officer Brian Vanderheiden was awarded the Life Saving Award Medal! for stopping a woman from killing herself.
“Your actions after the victim was located were instrumental in saving her life. Your compassion and expertise demonstrate your commitment and dedication to helping the citizens of Omaha,” Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said in a statement at the time.
Vanderheiden, along with officer Tim Kissell, received the medal at the Police Foundation Officer of the Year Awards Ceremony in March 2015.
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In 2017, Vanderheiden suffered serious injuries after he was involved in a multi-vehicle accident that was caused by a distracted driver. His cruiser was hit by the truck while it was parked on the shoulder of I-80. He was back to work after almost a year.
Meanwhile, following the Target incident, several people took to social media to praise Vanderheiden for his courage and thank him.
“Thank you Officer Vanderheiden for saving the lives of my fellow team members at Target today,” one person wrote on Facebook.
“Here is the Omaha police officer who shot the gunman and ended the threat at Target. He’s credited with probably saving many lives. Officer Brian Vanderheiden,” a Twitter user wrote.