Police say gang-related shooting killed 3 people at house party, plead for witnesses' help - InfoNews

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Police say gang-related shooting killed 3 people at house party, plead for witnesses' help

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer talks to the media at the police station in Omaha, Neb. on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 about a triple homicide on Parker Street. The early morning shooting that wounded eight people - killing three of them - was the direct result of gang violence, Schmaderer said. (AP Photo/Omaha World-Herald, Chris Machian)
January 24, 2015 - 5:19 PM

OMAHA, Neb. - Gunfire erupted during a crowded party in a vacant house in Omaha early Saturday, leaving three people dead and five wounded, and most witnesses refusing to help investigators, according to police.

As many as 50 people were in and around the small home when shots were fired "by multiple shooters" around 2 a.m., Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said. No arrests have been made, and police said they were confident the shootings were gang-related.

The vast majority of people at the scene refused to help police, the chief said during a news conference Saturday evening. He said he understood witnesses' fear but pleaded for them to come forward.

"Now that you are away from that scene and have opportunity to be away from any intimidation, I'm asking you for the sake of the community to contact law enforcement," Schmaderer said.

Police said 19-year-old JaKela Foster and 24-year-old Latecia Fox were declared dead at the scene, while 26-year-old Cameron Harris died several hours later. Schmaderer said it's unclear if the victims were intended targets or bystanders.

Foster's mother, Kristina Young, waited for hours outside the small, tan house in the city's northeast side while investigators gathered evidence. She said she wasn't going to leave until the body of her daughter was taken away.

Young said her daughter knew the person throwing the party. She said she asked her daughter not to go, knowing there would be drinking and worried there could be violence.

She said her daughter agreed and told her she was going elsewhere Friday night, but that she apparently went to the party anyway.

"To the person who pulled the trigger, I want to say it's just senseless. It just needs to stop. I now have a 1-year-old grandson that has no mother," Young said while fighting back tears.

The five people who were wounded were in stable condition late Saturday afternoon, Schmaderer said. Other details about their conditions weren't released.

Police were investigating whether the shooting was related to another shooting that happened just blocks away about four hours earlier that wounded a man and a woman. Schmaderer said that shooting was also gang-related.

Police arrested two people on suspicion of disorderly conduct at the hospital following the shooting, police said. Officers were called to the hospital after a disturbance among victims' relatives who had gathered at the hospital erupted.

News from © The Associated Press, 2015
The Associated Press

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