New and unexpected developments today in a five-month-old shootout that found two off-duty Omaha police officers killing two men, who according to authorities were in the country illegally.

Police now tell us the men have been tied to a Mexico-U.S. drug trafficking operation.


As we’ve reported, according to police, that was a February shootout: 22 gunshots, the first fired into a crowd by the driver, one of two Hispanic men seen climbing into the car just moments earlier, armed with one and only one gun.

The next 21 shots, killing the two men, were fired by two off-duty Omaha police officers.

FEBRUARY 2024/Lizeth Aracely Rosales Carrera, Aunt of the passenger: “I want the community to really judge."

That’s the aunt of 28-year-old Jonathan Hernandez-Rosales, the passenger, the man who didn’t have a gun, wondering if her nephew had to die.

Rosales Carrera: “Based on the images, whether that was fair, how they acted by firing 21 shots.”

FEBRUARY 2024/Police Chief Todd Schmaderer, Omaha Police Department: “I find the shooting to be within our policy. The county attorney has determined that the shooting was legally justified.”

And now nearly five months later police tell us the shooting outside this South Omaha night club has paved the way for a major breakthrough in Omaha’s ongoing battle with illegal drugs.

According to Schmaderer, “Through meticulous intelligence-gathering and collaboration with federal agencies, we have disrupted significant drug trafficking operations.”

Specifically, police say they’ve confiscated large sums of cash, made multiple arrests, and identified networks and individuals affiliated with "transnational" organized crime.

Police also tell us the names of those arrested or under investigation are not being made public because the case is open and ongoing.

Meanwhile a grand jury investigation into the shooting is expected to begin soon, something the families of the dead men have been waiting to see.

One final note on all this: According to Omaha Police, the car the two suspects were driving had cocaine and $23,333 in cash, which were found inside a hidden compartment during a second search of the vehicle.