The Omaha Police Department has arrested and charged Will McDonald, 47, in connection to the fatal Thanksgiving shooting of his son, Kendrick McDonald, 10.
The police department noted in a short Nov. 24 press release that an investigation is ongoing. The authorities outlined that officers arrived at an Omaha residence in the Montclair neighborhood just after 11:30 p.m. after an alert about a shooting. Despite being transported less than 10 minutes away to Nebraska Medicine by local fire department personnel, Kendrick passed away at the hospital.
Will has been charged with criminal homicide, use of a weapon-gun and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Zillow described the home of the crime scene — located at 1112 N 31st Avenue — as a five-bedroom, two-bathroom, single-family residence.
The Omaha World-Herald said the shooting may have happened while a car alarm went off outside the home. Omaha Police Captain Jeremy Christensen specified that it was unclear whether the father possibly mistook his son for a car thief.
“Obviously, we’re still pretty early,” said the police captain about the investigation. “We do know that there was allegedly a car alarm going off, and for whatever reason, the suspect/father went outside to maybe investigate that. We’re not 100% on that, but we are receiving information that a car alarm was going off… As to exactly what transpired and the why of it, we’re still trying to piece that together through our investigation.”
At the crime scene, the authorities reportedly recovered a handgun.
It’s unclear how many times Kendrick was shot or whether his mother, Reanna McMullen, was present at the time of the shooting. More details noted that other children were in the residence when the harrowing Thanksgiving incident happened.
“It’s obviously very tragic,” said Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine. “But we have to determine if he [Will McDonald] was justified in doing what he did. … At this point in time, it doesn’t appear that he was justified in firing.”
“You hear this, and you go, ‘Oh no,’ it’s just horrible,” the attorney added. “A little boy’s death like this. It’s just senseless.”
Will is reportedly being held at Douglas County Jail without bail.
According to the Facebook page of the school’s parent-teacher organization, Kendrick was a fourth grader at Belle Ryan Elementary.
A GoFundMe created by Jeff Downs-Widick, Kendrick’s uncle, referred to the shooting as “an awful accident.”
The fundraiser’s bio noted that the 10-year-old boy loved playing video games and sports with his siblings. It added that Kendrick was funny and “the light” of his mother’s world. The grieving woman, Reanna, has three children in addition to her late son. He also loved spending time listening to music and going for rides with his father.
“He loved to be silly and make people laugh. He loved listening to music and going for rides with his dad. He loved to have movie nights and cuddle with us and the animals. Everyday he told us to have a great day and do great things and to be safe before we dropped him off at school. He was amazing at math and so very smart. He loved food especially sweets. He was all about his brothers. They were his best friends.”
The fundraiser has met almost $5,000 of its $20,000 goal at the time of this reporting. The family is hoping the GoFundMe will help offset Kendrick’s funeral costs.
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