The investigation into the death of 29 year old Zachary Bearheels of Murdo, South Dakota in Omaha last week continues. Bearheels, who had mental illness, was removed from a bus and ended up at a convenience store last Monday. Omaha police were called because Bearheels was disruptive.
Four officers responded, Jennifer Strudl, Makyla Mead, Scotty Payne and Ryan McClarty. The investigation shows Bearheels was tased 12 times and was dragged by his hair. Video also shows that Bearheels suffered several blows to the head even though he was not resisting. Police Chief Todd Schmaderer is recommending the termination of two of the officers involved.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine is also gathering information to see if there will be charges against the officers involved. Kline says, “We get other agencies involved to do a review here. The State Patrol is involved. The Douglas County Sheriff Office will be involved. I put together a group. We get all the reports. We are still waiting for those. This will be an on-going investigative approach and I’m waiting for a final autopsy report for the cause of death of Zachary Bearheels.”
Chief Schmaderer says Bearheels did not die from head trauma. Kline spoke with the doctor conducting the autopsy and says, “He did not have a fractured skull. He did not have a brain bleed as a direct cause but we will see if some of that contributed to his passing.” Kleine hopes to have all the reports within ten days and will decide then if charges will be filed against the responding officers.