LINCOLN — A lunchtime shooting just outside a busy Chick-fil-A restaurant left a Lincoln man dead Tuesday afternoon, according to the Lincoln Police Department.
Chief Jeff Bliemeister said the man was shot by a senior special agent for BNSF Railway Co., a commissioned law enforcement officer. The agent was in uniform and driving a marked BNSF vehicle and was in the drive-thru lane of the restaurant.
Bliemeister declined to talk about several details of the event, including the dead man’s identity, saying those matters were still under investigation.
He said the man had a weapon. He would not say what the weapon was, other than that it was not a gun and that it had been recovered.
According to the chief, Lincoln police were called to the fast-food restaurant at SouthPointe Pavilions, a popular shopping center near South 27th Street and Pine Lake Road, about 1:05 p.m. Initial reports were of a disturbance inside the restaurant and a vehicle driven into the building.
Upon arriving, police found the BNSF agent attempting lifesaving measures on a man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bliemeister said the man had been causing a disturbance inside the Chick-fil-A. Another patron escorted him out of the business because of his actions and words.
Once outside, the man got in his 2018 Dodge pickup and backed through the west side of the building. Patrons and employees began to flee, while the man got out of his vehicle and continued causing a disturbance.
At that point, the BNSF agent confronted the man. Bliemeister said the man made threatening statements to the agent, who then fired his weapon.
The department tweeted shortly before 2:30 p.m. that there was no threat to the public. No one was injured besides the man who died.
When Mike Underwood heard a loud screech followed by a crash, he assumed there was a wreck in the busy intersection nearby.
From across the street, he noticed people scurrying to cars in the Chick-fil-A parking lot and saw a truck inside the building.
“I couldn’t really believe what I was seeing,” said Underwood, 39.
Underwood said one man was chasing another out of the restaurant. They were yelling and looked like they might get into a fistfight. Then Underwood heard gunshots.
“I did see a guy kneel over, clutching his stomach and chest area. He fell to the ground,” Underwood said.
As part of their investigation, police were serving search warrants at the man’s residence. Lincoln police have had contacts with the man in the past, but there were no prior arrests.
Bliemeister asked for anyone with information or videos to call 402-441-6000.