crime and punishment

Omaha, Nebraska’s Makhi Woolridge-Jones, Brandon Woolridge-Jones accused of shooting Trequez Swift, Ja’Keya Veland

Makhi Woolridge-Jones (©Omaha Police Department)
Makhi Woolridge-Jones (©Omaha Police Department)

Hailing from Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, United States, Brandon Woolridge-Jones, 18, and Makhi Woolridge-Jones, 16, have been arrested by the Omaha Police Department. The two are brothers.

Brandon and Makhi are accused of shooting Ja’Keya Veland, 22, and Trequez Swift, 21, in the first floor of the Westroads Mall in Omaha on April 17, 2021. The shooting appeared to be a targeted attack, which was not a mass shooting, according to Omaha Police Department’s Lieutenant Neil Bonacci.

“Unfortunately, nationwide we’re seeing an increase in violent crime,” the Marietta Daily Journal quoted Bonacci as saying. “However, Omaha is safe. We take a lot of preventative measures as a Police Department.”

Investigators were not seeking any other suspects, according to Omaha Police Department spokesperson Michael Pecha. While it was not an active shooter situation, the department took just precautions and treated it as so, Bonacci said.

Veland, who was wounded in her leg, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to CHI Immanuel Hospital in Omaha, WOWT reported. On the other hand, Swift died at Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy in Omaha.

On April 18, 2021, Makhi was arrested by the U.S. Marshals District of Nebraska’s Metro Fugitive Task Force. He was charged with a first-degree murder.

On the same day, Brandon was arrested by the Omaha Police Department. He was charged with being an accessory to a felony.

In 2016, Brandon and Makhi’s mother filed a petition for a protection order in Douglas County Court. The mother has yet to comment about her sons’ recent arrest.

Brandon Woolridge-Jones (©Omaha Police Department)
Brandon Woolridge-Jones (©Omaha Police Department)

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Owned and managed by Brookfield Properties Retail Group, the Westroads Mall is the largest mall in Nebraska. Real estate developer John Wiebe designed the enclosed shopping mall, which opened in 1967.

In October 2016, The Container Store opened at the Westroads Mall. Abercrombie & Fitch and Younkers stores closed at the mall in January 2018 and in August 2018, respectively.

The mall is near J.C. Penney. On March 12, 2021, J.C. Penney shoplifter Kenya Lamont Jenkins Jr., 21, shot Omaha Police Department officer Jeffrey Wittstruck, 39, four times.

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