Further Investigation Into Shooting
The Lincoln Police Department continues to investigate the shooting of 18-year-old Tareik Artis. In the latter part of July, Tareik Artis was stopped by a Lincoln police officer for a traffic violation. Tareik subsequently fled the scene and was not located. On September 22, 2015, at 1:00 p.m., the officer passed by a residence where Tareik had been known to stay. At that time, Tareik was seen getting into a vehicle, just as it was leaving. The officer conducted a traffic stop at S. 12th & K Streets. When he approached the vehicle, he could smell an odor of marijuana coming from inside the car. As Tareik emerged as a passenger in the vehicle, he shoved the officer and took off running in an easterly direction. While running, the officer observed what appeared to be a firearm in Tareik's waistband. The officer relayed this information over the radio system and officers responded to the area. Responding law enforcement included deputies from Lancaster County Sheriff's Office and members of the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force.
A Lancaster County Deputy Sheriff, in uniform, observed Tareik Artis near S. 14th Street and Lincoln Mall. He exited his cruiser and pursued Tareik. A deputy U.S. Marshall also engaged in the foot pursuit. Witnesses in the area heard the deputy give commands similar to "stop", "drop it right now", and "drop the weapon". Others heard the word "police". Witnesses also observed Tareik Artis point a weapon at the deputy before shots were fired. Both the LSO deputy and deputy U.S. Marshall fired their weapon at Tareik Artis. He was struck several times. Personnel rendered first aid and medical units were immediately called to the scene. Tareik was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. He is in critical, but stable, condition.
Further investigation revealed that Tareik Artis was carrying a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, fully loaded, with a round in the chamber. He had two additional fully loaded magazines on his person. He was found to be carrying a total of 22 rounds of ammunition. Investigators also recovered numerous individual packages of illegal drugs, which could be the reason Tareik fled.
Chief Jim Peschong added, "This event was tragic; but, by the grace of God, no one lost their life. This event highlights the dangers our law enforcement men and women face every day. Unfortunately, there seems to be far too many occurrences across the country in which individuals choose to use firearms against law enforcement officers. Our community is not immune to this."
The Lincoln Police Department would like to speak to anyone with information regarding this case, who has not yet been contacted by an officer. Please call 402.441.6000 and ask to speak with an investigator or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 402.475.3600.
On September 22, 2015, Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner released preliminary information in the case. Link to the statement from his office.