Omaha taxpayers will pay a nearly quarter-million-dollar bill for the medical treatment provided a gang member accused of shooting and wounding an Omaha police officer.
Thirty-six-year-old John Ezell, Jr. suffered numerous gunshot wounds in a shootout with police after allegedly shooting Omaha Police Officer Ken Fortune during a traffic stop in north Omaha.
Ezell has spent a month in the hospital, being treated for those injuries. The bill from the Nebraska Medical Center and UNMC Physicians totals $239,670.
A city attorney says the constitution requires the city pay for the medical care given to those under police custody if they lack the insurance to cover the cost.
The shootout occurred in early September when officers with the Omaha Police Department gang unit in an unmarked car attempted to stop the vehicle in which Ezell was riding. As officers approached the car, it sped off. Police say Ezell shot Fortune in the shoulder when he approached the car. Other officers returned fire, shooting and wounding Ezell.
Ezell, according to police legally drunk at the time, was charged with attempted murder as well as other felonies. His bail was set at $3 million.
Fortune has been treated and is back on the job.