A preliminary investigation has cleared two Lincoln police officers from wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a murder suspect.
Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner says his department has drawn its conclusions in the shooting that killed Germichael Kennedy, suspected of killing University of Nebraska a Kearney sophomore Marlene Rashidi.
“From a preliminary perspective, the investigation has shown the Lincoln police officers acted in accordance with their legal authority, determining lethal force was necessary to protect themselves from death or serious injury,” Wagner tells reporters during a briefing.
Wagner says the investigation remains active until the case is presented to the Grand Jury.
Investigators say Sergeant Mario Robinson and Officer Josh Atkinson shot and killed Kennedy after he threatened them with a gun.
Robinson and Atkinson initially responded to a call about a fight in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 26th. They heard gunshots. Rashidi, 20, and 23-year-old Dezarae Mann were shot while sitting in separate parked vehicles. Mann was hospitalized in stable, but critical condition.
Wagner says investigators concluded the officers used lethal force to protect themselves.
“You look at some of the witness accounts of this, these things happen in a split second,” according to Wagner. “From the dispatch records, it was mere minutes from when he was spotted to when the shooting took place and so it absolutely happens in a split second and those decisions have to be made, those life or death decisions, have to be made immediately.”
Robinson and Atkinson had been placed on administrative leave after the shooting. They have been returned to active duty.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this story.