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Over the last 7 years, while grieving the death of their son and the pain of not being able to see their grandchildren for over SIX years because Tye's X - Wife, Stacy Pratt, now Mrs. Stacy Laue, Wife of Nick Laue / Nicholas Laue, will not allow it.

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How Officer Tye Pratt Died.

Criminal - in Young Police Officer Shooting Dead

Officer In Critical Condition

12:48 a.m. CDT September 12, 2003

OMAHA, Neb. -- The suspect in a Thursday night shooting that sent an Omaha police officer to the hospital in critical condition is dead. He is Albert Rucker, 21, of Omaha. Rucker (pictured, left) was recently featured as a Crimestoppers Most Wanted. He went by the street name "Twigs" and was wanted by police for several violent crimes.

An Omaha police officer is still in critical condition at Creighton University Medical Center. He was critically injured Thursday night after being shot during a routine traffic stop. Two officers were in a squad car near 33rd and Corby streets just before 10 p.m. when they made a traffic stop. Apparently, Rucker got out of the stopped car and a shootout began between him and police. Witnesses reported hearing 11 gunshots. The officer's name has not been released.

Around 12 a.m. Friday, a group of police officers gathered at Creighton's hospital to support and pray for their fallen colleague. "There are a large number of officers on duty. Officers, certainly any time there is a tragic event, they want to be here know what's going on to support a fellow officer, do what they can for the officer and family," said interim Chief Al Pepin. "Really all we can do it wait and see and pray for both individuals and their families."

Pepin said the officer's family was at the hospital, as was Omaha's Mayor Mike Fahey.


2:33 p.m. CDT September 12, 2003
Omaha Police Officer Involved In Shooting Identified

Pratt In Critical Condition at: Creighton University Medical Center

OMAHA, Neb. -- Jason Pratt, an eight-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department, remains in critical condition at Creighton University Medical Center after he was shot during a traffic stop Thursday night. Omaha acting police Chief Al Pepin released the officers name to the public at a 2 p.m. press conference Friday and said "the outlook is not good" for Pratt (pictured, right).

Police spokeswoman Cathy Martinec said doctors are expected to hold a briefing with police leaders on Saturday afternoon regarding Pratt's status. Pratt and another officer were patrolling Thursday night when they attempted to stop a car for erratic driving near 34th and Corby streets around 10 p.m. The driver, Albert Rucker, 21, of Omaha, got out of the car and ran. Pratt chased Rucker on foot while his partner called for backup. About 10 minutes later, Pratt told other officers he had spotted the fleeing suspect. It was then witnesses heard shots fired. A backup officer at the scene fired at Rucker, hitting him. At 10:13 p.m. two rescue squads were sent to the scene to pick up Pratt and Rucker. They were both taken to Creighton. Rucker was pronounced dead at 2:21 a.m.

Police had issued two felony warrants for Rucker (pictured, left) earlier this year. They did not know Rucker was in the vehicle when they made the traffic stop Thursday night.

"Traffic stops are among the most dangerous things we do. They know who we are, but we don't know who they are at the initial stop," said Pepin.

Two guns that do not belong to Omaha police officers were found at the scene of the shooting. They are now part of the investigation. A grand jury will also investigate the shooting. Three officers involved Thursday night are on administrative leave until the investigations are complete.

Pratt has a wife and young children. He was the department's officer of the month in March of 2001. Pepin said Pratt was "aggressive" and a "hard-working officer."

Mayor Mike Fahey said, "Last night's shooting of this fine young Omaha police officer was an unspeakable tragedy. He certainly is a true public servant in the best sense of the term. We'd ask you to include the officer and his family in your prayers."


9:54 p.m. CDT September 14, 2003

Friends, Colleagues Pray For Officer Pratt

Pratt Remains In Critical Condition

OMAHA, Neb. -- Omaha police Officer Jason Pratt remained in critical condition Sunday at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha after being shot Thursday during a traffic stop.

Sunday, family, friends and colleagues gathered to pray for Pratt. We just pray for a miracle," said Ken Sukraw who attended a vigil to support the Pratt family at St. John's church in Bennington, Neb. We "continue to pray for a miracle." Dozens of people gathered under dark candlelight to pray. "We hear about things like this happening, but this comes real close to home when it's one of our own," said St. John's pastor Jim Price.

Pratt's wife is from Bennington and Price said prayer vigils like this helps people in the community comfort each other and show support for the officer's family.

"Another relative of his last night asked me to pray that Jason would get to raise his two daughters and see them grow up," said Price.

Across the metropolitan area, a group of Omaha police officers gather to pray and act as an informal support group for each other. The department held a vigil to pray for their fellow officer and for the strength to continue work in the midst of tragedy.

"I for one am certainly proud of the officers that I've seen, that are really close to Jason and work with him everyday," said Capt. John Friend. "Those folks still continue to go out and do the best possible job they can do, and I'm telling you that's hard to do."

Pratt and another officer were patrolling Thursday night when they attempted to stop a car for erratic driving near 34th and Corby streets around 10 p.m. The driver, Albert Rucker, 21, of Omaha, got out of the car and ran. Pratt chased Rucker on foot while his partner called for backup.

About 10 minutes later, Pratt told other officers he had spotted the fleeing suspect. It was then witnesses heard shots fired. A backup officer at the scene fired at Rucker, hitting him.

At 10:13 p.m. two rescue squads were sent to the scene to pick up Pratt and Rucker. They were both taken to Creighton. Rucker was pronounced dead at 2:21 a.m.


10:44 a.m. CDT September 15, 2003

Fellow Officers Praise Pratt's Service

Officer Who Was Shot Called 'Best Of Best'

OMAHA, Neb. -- Reality has set in for Omaha police officers after the shooting of their colleague Jason Pratt. They continue doing their jobs knowing their brother is fighting for his life.

"We had partnered up numerous times," said Officer Jeff Hunter who is Pratt's friend. "I have gone through the same type of situation he was in the other night."

He said the scene on Thursday night, when Pratt and a wanted criminal, Albert Rucker, were involved in a shootout, is common. A traffic stop, the driver bails out, and the search for the suspect begins. Pratt was helping set up a perimeter when he was shot in the head.

"We've all been talking about how many times we've been in that situation," said Hunter. "Luckily we came out on the good end instead of this unfortunate situation as it's turned out now." "Stuff like this brings back memories," said Sgt. Mark Langan. "It hits families hard."

Langan knows what it feels like to be shot at by a suspect. In February 2002, he made it out of his shootout without any injuries. Whenever there's a shooting involving police officers, stress runs high. "Especially the younger officers, who haven't gone through situations like this before. Tension on their faces is evident. The stress level is high," said Langan. "You do this job because you love it," said Hunter. "You forget sometimes what great risks are really out there."

As part of the emergency response unit in the Omaha Police Department, Pratt is one of the best-trained officers on the force. "Jason is the best of the best, there's no doubt it," said Langan. "The officers take great strides to prevent this from happening, but sometimes it just can't be prevented."


5:33 p.m. CDT September 19, 2003

Those Who Worked Closely With Pratt Praise His Service

Former Colleagues, Partner Say Pratt Was '1 Percenter!

OMAHA, Neb. -- Officers of the Omaha Police Department are mourning the loss of one of their own. Officer Jason Pratt died Friday morning of complications from a gunshot wound.
Officers Find Words Difficult

A lot of officers have stories to tell about Pratt. His co-workers say he loved being a cop and helping people. One of his friends calls him a 1 percenter, meaning only 1 percent of police officers are as skilled as Pratt was.

Pratt's partner says they talked about the dangers of the job often. "We worked on officer skills. We tried to stay as safe as we could. We encouraged other officers to do the same," said Officer Trevor Thrasher, Pratt's partner. "You can do everything right and life is still full of chance. You never eliminate it completely." It wasn't easy for officers to talk about Pratt Friday. Police are wearing black sashes over their badges and members of the SWAT team carry coins. They've put Pratt's badge number on the shield, and they're giving coins to Pratt's family.

"We're grieving inside," said Eric White with the Omaha Police Department. "We have to forge ahead and that's what Jason would have wanted. He'd want us to move along and remember him." It's hard, the officers said, not to be distracted, but they say Pratt would want them to keep working and keep fighting crime.


4:28 p.m. CDT September 22, 2003

Funeral Plans In Place For Pratt Memorial
City Will Lay Sergeant To Rest

OMAHA, Neb. -- Sgt. Jason Pratt gave his life protecting Omaha, and now the city is getting ready to say goodbye. Tuesday's service at Omaha's Civic Auditorium is expected to draw 6,000 people. Many Omaha police officers, plus officers from departments around the region will send people to pay respects to Pratt. Pratt died Friday of complications from a gunshot wound after he was shot Sept. 11 during a traffic stop.

Bellevue police Officer Joe Milos is getting ready for his role in the funeral. He and a number of other officers from departments outside Omaha will fill shifts so Omaha's police can pay respects to their fallen colleague. "We'll be covering for them so they can attend the funeral," said Milos. Bellevue is sending 70 officers to the service and several cruisers for the funeral procession. All will be wearing a black sash over their badges and a Bellevue seamstress has kicked in extra time to make sure everyone has one.

Omaha's citizens are invited to the service. Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey is also asking people to line the route from the auditorium to the burial site. After the funeral, the route will start on 19th Street, turn on Farnam Street, then onto Saddle Creek Road, and finally to West Center Road. Workers at the Civic spent Monday making the auditorium into a makeshift church. "We have to have this place immaculate.," said Beth Schieffer, who's on the team that put up 200 chairs and removed athletic banners from the center over the weekend.


8:57 a.m. CDT September 24, 2003

Site Of Pratt Shooting Healing

North Omaha Neighbors Feel Special Connection To Officer Lost

OMAHA, Neb. -- People in the north Omaha neighborhood where Sgt. Jason "Tye" Pratt and Albert Rucker were shot and killed are still stunned, nearly two weeks after the incident. Pratt made a traffic stop at 33rd and Corby streets and Rucker got out of his stopped car and ran. When Pratt chased him, shots were fired that eventually took the lives of both men.

Neighbors near that intersection say this has been a very stressful time for them. Someone placed a cross near the bushes where Rucker was hiding when he shot Pratt, and the scene is creating extra traffic in the area.

People like Richard Williams are curious, "And I just wanted to see for myself what happened, where it happened."

Some flowers have been left at the cross and some neighbors say it's become a spot for people to grieve. They've seen police cruisers stop here. Neighbor Monta Sanderson has made the journey to "go back to that night, and within yourself think about what happened." He hopes the cross will be more than a tribute, but a reminder to people about what happened at the spot. "The world is changing, people need to change with it," said Sanderson. "This violence is not the way to go. "Many of the people who live near 33rd and Corby streets feel a special connection to Pratt, and say it was their neighborhood he was protecting when he was shot. "It's just heartbreaking, [I] don't have words, just heartbreaking," said Rosella Combs, who watched Tuesday's funeral for Pratt on television. She said it is difficult to know the shooting happened so close to her home. "The mother lost her husband, the children lost their father, nobody won, nobody won," Combs said.


5:00 p.m. CDT September 22, 2003

Update: Pratt Family Grateful For Support

Fund-Raiser Brings Out Thousands

OMAHA, Neb. -- The family of Sgt. Jason "Tye" Pratt describes a fund-raiser Sunday as "an unbelievable show of support." Pratt died Friday of complications from a gunshot wound. More than $100,000 was raised for the Pratts. The money will be used for the Pratt daughter education and permanent housing for the family. Thousands of people attended a fund-raiser dinner at the police union's hall Sunday. Organizers said they stopped counting at 7,000 attendees, and hundreds more came after that.

The rest of Pratt's family was there, too. His mom, dad and brother Michael, who is a police officer in Lincoln, were stunned at the level of support Omaha has shown for the fallen officer. Support, they hope, continues after this week's memorial for Pratt. "I hope people remember that there was somebody that died for the city...and that his family still needs support," said Officer Mike Pratt.

A memorial service will be held for Jason Pratt Tuesday at Civic Auditorium. A procession will follow to the site of burial, Omaha's Calvary Cemetery at 78th and West Center Road.

Mayor Mike Fahey is asking people to show their support by lining the route of the funeral procession. After the funeral, the route will start on 19th Street, turn on Farnam Street, then onto Saddle Creek Road, and finally to West Center Road.


11:01 a.m. CDT September 24, 2003

Pratt T-Shirts Nearly Sold Out After One Day

Fund-Raiser Lets Officers See Support Firsthand

OMAHA, Neb. -- A T-shirt created by the city of Omaha to raise funds for the family of Sgt. Jason "Tye" Pratt are nearly sold out after just one night. Nearly 1,500 shirts were sold at $15 each, raising about $22,000.
Mayor Mike Fahey announced Monday that a shirt with Pratt's badge on the back would be sold to benefit the Pratt family assistance fund. Tuesday they went on sale.

T-shirts Flying Off Shelves

Michelle Ross and Sean Price were lined up at Mangelsen's, one of four local businesses selling the shirts. The pair wanted to honor Pratt. "We're doing something. That's what matters," said Price, a corrections officer. Every dollar goes to Stacy, and their two daughters. Mandi Bosch works with Stacy Pratt, and was out Tuesday buying shirts. "It's just one way we can help them," she said.

At Big Fred's on Pacific Street, near where Jason grew up, sales were swift. Some people stop to buy shirts and some just hand over the cash. The Omaha police officers volunteering to sell the shirts said it's part of their healing process. They get to witness the community's appreciation firsthand. "I can't tell you how that makes myself and Officer Handsen feel, that the city of Omaha cares so much," said Officer Cathy Martinec, stationed outside Big Fred's with her colleagues.


Just few of the hundreds of comments from Channel 7 & Chat Board...

09-24-2003, 1:49 AM from a childhood friend of Tye's

I am writing this with tears, grief, anger, disbelief, and emptiness about my childhood friend, Jason Tye Pratt. Among my tears, there is a smile when I think of how he made my childhood life so fun. I moved to West Omaha in the Summer of 1976 and remember meeting this full of life, stocky, Italian kid. I probably spent every waking moment with Tye. I wanted to be Tye. He was this full of life, tan, stocky kid that had cool parents too. All the times we spent in his back yard swimming pool, shooting bb guns, slingshots, and playing football just brings a smile to my face. Tye unfortunatley moved to Yutan when we just started highschool and I moved out to Hawaiin Village, but we still kept in touch. I was able to go to Tye and Stacy's wedding but soon after I moved out to California. I kept in touch with Tye where he mentioned that he interviewed with the Los Angeles Police Force but decided that would have been too far from his family in Nebraska. Tye was one of those friends that it does not matter how long you've talked or seen them, the minute you see each other it was like you never missed a beat. My deepest sympathy goes to Stacy and her two daughters. I have a 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter and just burst out crying thinking that Tye will never again be able to hold his girls! Also to Tye's Parents, Mr and Mrs. Pratt and brother Mike, my deepest sympathy and prayers. To my friend, Tye, I am a better person for knowing you, and I will always remember that warrior spirit inside of you.


09-23-2003, 9:33 PM

I met Tye when he was 8 or 9. My memories of him are hanging/chasing around with big brother Mike. Both having a blast behind their home; out a control... My memory of Mike Sr., Rita, Mike Jr. & Tye will never leave me. Pls know the Agosta & Pratt families will have a hard time getting thru this. Keep them in your hearts (and postal/e-mail) throughout the coming months and years. They have a lot of outpouring support now, but tough times lay ahead.

Heart broken, Toni Montana


I am still having a hard time grasping the reality of what has happened here. Two years ago, I met Jason while I was working at Godfather's here in North Omaha. I saw him about twice a week for the year and a half that I worked there. I had recently decided that I wanted to become a police officer, and the first night I met him, I sat with him and talked to him for about an hour about it. He was so encouraging and supportive. Everytime he'd come in, we'd talk about that more and he would always make sure that I hadn't changed my mind. I got a new job and left Godfather's and then I never really saw him very often.

TWO DAYS before the shooting, for the first time in TWO years, I saw Officer Pratt at a gas station! We were so excited to see each other! He told me that I was his favorite counter girl at Godfather's and I told him that he was my favorite cop! We talked for about 15 minutes, and one of the last things he said to me was, "Lora, you're still going to be a police officer, right?" Yes Jason, I am STILL going to be a police officer. Like you did, I plan on applying at as many departments as I can.

Words cannot describe how much I miss you, how much everyone misses you. I think about you everyday and I thank God that he gave me the chance to see you and talk to you one more time. You're in a much prettier place now, a place where the sun is always shining and there is no hate.

Rest In Peace Jason - You're always on our minds and forever in our hearts.

Lora Daum

09-23-2003, 10:48 PM

No words can express how terrible this tradegy is. It's so heartbreaking to me that someone so young and full of life can be taken so quickly and violently from this earth. I can only imagine the extreme pain and sorrow Officer Pratt's family is going through, I didn't even know him and my heart aches.

I was excited when I heard that they were selling t-shirts to benefit the family, I've already bought mine and will wear it with pride tomorrow.

I've always wanted to become a police officer, this story has inspired me even more. How great to be able to touch so many lives and know that you made a difference. You know he's shining down on us, watching over us everyday.

To Sergeant Jason Tye Pratt: Gone...but certainly never forgotten!

Thanks...for the inspiration, C.J.

Even those he arrested respected him.

I'll be honest by saying, "I haven't always been the most law abiding citizen. I believe that Jason Pratt had been part of the swat team that come to my house a couple of years ago. That night changed my life. The past few days have been so heart wretching. My heart goes out to the family & friends of Jason Tye Pratt. I was there to pay my respects to Sgt. Pratt, his family, his friends, & to let the officers that drove by know, that I, like everyone else lining the streets, respect what they do for us. I was the person with the hand over my heart, bawling my eyes out, standing next to guy with the little sign that said 'HERO'.

Sincerely....Linda Chase


09-21-2003, 2:58 AM

I am a Nebraskan, I recently moved away from Omaha and live in Las Vegas, Nevada! I dearly miss all the love that Nebraskan's always have to offer and at this time want to let you know and all that have posted there prayers and heart felt condolences that just because September 11th happened does not mean that the community has pulled together more so. Why you may ask, because Nebraskan's have always loved one another and helped when help was needed. The precise values and standards that Jason Pratt was bestowed upon by his parents, are in fact being expressed today through our love for them and support. Please except my heart felt sympathy to all of the Pratts and there freinds and fellow Officers on the force that mourn the loss of such a great man.Simply put, this faimly definately will have a long road to recovering and healing and I pray that God be with them not just now but also after everyone has returned to there daily routines.

God Bless

Angelic


09-21-2003, 1:53 AM

My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Jason "Tye" Pratts family. His death has brought back many painful memories.

My father Deputy Charles Dobbertin was also shot in the head (and the stomach), in the line of duty in 1977. He too laid in the hospital for one week. He too was laid to rest at Calvary Cemetary. He too left behind a wife and daughters who dearly love him.

The pain will never leave the Pratt family. Time heals nothing. BUT Officer Jason Pratt will now be his families Spirit Guide and help them until they meet again in Heaven. Heaven is our goal, it is our reward. Officer Jason Pratt is now being rewarded for all the good he did here on earth.

God Bless Officer Jason "Tye" Pratt and God Bless his family.

Jody, Trever, Tyler "Tye" (Dobbertin) Lee and Chuck Adams


09-20-2003, 2:19 PM

To Officer Pratt's family-- my deepest sympathies go out to you. I did not know Officer Pratt personally, but i have followed this story from the moment i heard it thursday night. OPD lost a hero, but you, the family, lost a Son, husband, and father! You have been and will continue to be in my prayers! Deepest sympathies, and Good Bless--HEM


09-20-2003, 10:16 AM

I WANT TO EXPRESS MY MOST HEARTFELT, DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO OFFICER PRATT'S FAMILY. NOT ONLY HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN BUT ALSO HIS PARENTS AS THEY TOO ARE SUFFERING AN IMMENSE LOSS. I MET JASON'S WIFE AND MOTHER AT THE HOSPITAL BRIEFLY AS I AM A HEAD INJURY SURVIVER. I HAD HOPED THAT THE DOCTORS AT CREIGHTON COULD HAVE SAVED JASON AS THEY DID FOR ME. ALTHOUGH MY PRAYERS WERE NOT ANSWERED I KNOW JASON HAS LEFT AN IMPACT ON ALL WHO KNEW HIM AND THOSE WHO WISHED THEY DID. THIS EVENT FURTHER SHOWS US THAT WE MUST ALWAYS APPRECIATE OUR LOVED ONES AND NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED EACH MOMENT THEY SHARE WITH US


09-19-2003, 11:34 PM

Officer Jason Pratt will go down in history as one of the most greatest police officers in Omaha's history. I am just glad to know that when it is my time to go through the gates of heaven, that I can look forward to such a wonderful person on the otherside to greet me!! Rest in peace Jason. You will be missed forever!


09-19-2003, 11:30 PM

my heart goes out to Jason's family..... to his parents..... I can only say that I feel a part of your pain as I have lost a son. and to Jason's wife, my heart goes out to you..as I have lost a police officer husband, and father to my son..and I believe that God only takes home the ones that are perfect. My prayers are that you find peace...God Bless You All Becci

All the above accounts were reported by:




The following accounts were reported by...

Officer Remains In Very Critical Condition

Family is hoping for a miracle

Omaha police officer Jason Pratt remains in extremely critical condition at Creighton University Medical Center. The 30-year-old officer was wounded in a shooting late Thursday.While Omaha's acting police chief has said the situation for Officer Pratt does not look good, family and friends continue to pray for a miracle.


Officer Remains In Very Critical Condition

Suspect had long criminal record

Omaha police officer Jason "Tye" Pratt remains in extremely critical condition at Creighton University Medical Center.

The 30-year-old officer was wounded in a shooting shortly before 10 o'clock, last Thursday night. He was assisting in a traffic stop, looking for the fleeing suspect, 21-year-old Albert Rucker when Rucker opened fire and Officer Pratt went down. Police fired back and Rucker was wounded. Rucker died in the hospital approximately four hours later.

While Omaha's acting police chief has said the situation for Officer Pratt does not look good, family and friends continue to pray for a miracle. Officer Pratt's cousin, Jeanie Harrell, says, "Tye is an outstanding police officer and a wonderful man with an endearing laugh and a heart filled with love for his family and friends."

Harrell says that Rucker, "should not have been on the streets with his criminal record." Harrell is not the only one who has made that point. Rucker's first contact with police came when he was 12-years-old. He was caught shoplifting and that set the stage for growingly aggressive crimes. City Prosecutor Marty Conboy says Rucker's record shows a man on the wrong path.

He says, "That is a recipe for trouble when young kids have a violent tendency, a disregard for the law and they've always got weapons. That's a very dangerous scenario." In April, 2001, Rucker was involved in a fight at a metro convenience store. He was shot in the leg and several witnesses were caught in a cross-fire.

The charges stemming from that April incident were dropped but Conboy says that doesn't mean the system failed. He says, "He had a felony warrant out for him when this happened. It wasn't as if he'd been ignored it just was a matter of catching up with him before something terrible happened."

Conboy says he that every charge his office brought against Rucker and by the age of 21, Rucker had been in jail a dozen times. Several felony charges were dismissed because either someone else took the fall or the victims were uncooperative. The city prosecutor says that there are probably another 200 people with similar histories on the streets of Omaha.

Meanwhile, Officer Pratt's family keeps waiting, hoping and praying.

Jeanie Harrell says, "The Omaha Police Department has been exceptional throughout this ordeal, providing us with everything we might possibly need to get through this situation. I'm so proud that Tye is a part of this group of outstanding men and women who protect us every day with their own lives."


Officer Still In Extremely Critical Condition

Injured a week ago

Officials with Creighton University Medical Center say that Omaha police officer Jason "Tye" Pratt remains in extremely critical condition a week after being shot in the head while trying to apprehend 21-year-old Albert Rucker. Rucker was pulled over in a traffic stop and fled on foot.

The 30-year-old Pratt was one of two officers who came in to provide backup. Pratt was shot and another officer then fired at Rucker. Rucker died some four hours later.

The police union is hosting a benefit dinner for the Pratt family on Sunday. It's the union hall at 134th and Cryer. The cost is $10 per person and $20 dollars per family. The benefit runs from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

All of the money raised will go to officer Pratt's wife Stacy and the couple's two children. The city is paying his medical expenses.

Lincoln police have established a second fund for the Pratt family. Donations can be made at any Pinnacle Bank in the state. Jason Pratt's brother, Mike Pratt, has been an officer with the Lincoln Police Department for 10 years.


Prayer Service Held For Wounded Officer

Jason Pratt remains in extremely critical condition

Dozens gathered to pray Sunday night for Omaha Police Officer Jason Pratt who continues to fight for his life at Creighton University Medical Center. Pratt was shot in the head Thursday night while trying to apprehend a wanted man.

St. John's Lutheran Church in Bennington is where Jason and his wife Stacy were married, where both of their children were baptized, and where they once again had started worshiping after deciding to move back to the community. The family recently sold their home in Iowa and was building a home in Bennington. Their preacher saw them in church just days ago and Sunday night he asked Omaha to pray for the Pratt family. "Very good man inside," said Pastor James Price. "Heard many police officers talk about his faith and how he brings that into his whole life. Very dedicated as far as a police officer. You can see his professionalism, you can see his strength." Pastor Price also spoke about Pratt's love of being a father. "You could see his involvement in that and his joy. Just two weeks ago he was chasing Madison around." With song, words, and prayer, a community focused on one thought. "We understand the severity of his injuries and we really are praying for a miracle," said Pastor Price. "It's going to take a miracle. It's really in that realm that it's beyond our ability to do anything. Certainly there are the best doctors and nurses working on Jason, but it's really in God's hands what happens now."

The suspect who shot Officer Pratt, 21-year-old Albert Rucker of Omaha, was fatally shot by another police officer. A grand jury will investigate Rucker's death.


Community Shows Support For Pratt Family

Officer remains in extremely critical condition

The outpouring of financial support continues for the family of Officer Jason "Tye" Pratt.

The 7-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department was shot in the line of duty last Thursday night and remains in extremely critical condition.

Police headquarters and the police union have been getting calls asking if donations made to the Jason Pratt family assistance fund are going to help pay medical expenses.

That's not the case. Officer Pratt was on duty when he was shot and the City of Omaha is paying for his medical care. Omaha police say they're amazed by the generosity to the family assistance fund. They say the money will be used by the family to help them meet their needs.

If anything can lift spirits in such a difficult situation, the people of Omaha have.

Lieutenant Tim Conahan has been Officer Pratt's supervisor for the past three years and he says, "That just amazes us what the community is willing to give and the support that it shows. We don't see that every day in our normal day to day duties. You know it seems like when something tragic happens people of Omaha and the community of Omaha really steps up to the plate. They don't realize, maybe they do realize, how comforting that is to all police officers and to Jason's family." Lt. Conahan says Officer Pratt would always be the first to volunteer on the SWAT team. He's described as a hard worker who always smiles.

The police department appreciates the outpouring of financial support for the family but they're also asking for prayers. Lt. Conahan says, "Jason's in grave condition right now and the only thing we can do and the family can do is pray. And so we feel the more prayers the good Lord hears, the better chance for survival."

The church that the Pratt family attends has made space for a prayer chapel for the officer. St. John's Lutheran Church in Bennington is inviting anyone to stop in. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

A benefit dinner for the Pratt family is planned this weekend. It's on Sunday at the Omaha police union hall at 134th and Cryer Avenue. It runs from 11 a.m to 10 p.m. and costs $10 per person and $20 per family.

Lincoln police have established a second fund for the Pratt family. Donations can be made at any Pinnacle Bank in the state. Jason Pratt's brother, Mike Pratt, has been an officer with the Lincoln Police Department for 10 years.


Crowds Show Support For Officer's Family

Condition remains critical

Hundreds of people packed into an Omaha parking lot Wednesday night to raise money for the family of Police Officer Jason "Tye" Pratt. Pratt was shot in the head last week and remains in critical condition.

Right now, the focus for doctors at Creighton University Medical Center is to keep down the pressure on his brain. The 30-year old Pratt arrived as backup last week in pursuit of a man who ran from police at a traffic stop.

Police say that Albert Rucker, a man with a lengthy criminal record, shot Pratt in the head. Another officer shot and killed Rucker. CUMC Assistant Administrator Chris Hyers said Wenesday afternoon that if there's any progress in Pratt's condition, it will be slow and that will take some time. Hyers said, "In talking with the physicians, they can't define that. You don't know with an injury like this. We're not going to call you tomorrow and say, 'everything's ok now.'"

The hospital declined to give specifics about his medical treatment but did say that doctors are aggressively treating him. The fund-raising event at Rush Street, at 84th and Frederick Wednesday night was a fitting tribute. Officer Pratt loved the kinds of fast cars that served as a backdrop for the occasion. Rush Street owner Kip Hulbert said,"We have so much stuff, we're going to have two or three auctions now."

The community came forward with a whole stage full of auction items; a testament, many believe, to Officer Pratt and what he stands for Officer Paul Milone was his partner last year and Milone says, "I wished everyone could experience what myself, Trevor, and Joe and the rest of the guys experienced every day. I don't know if I'll ever experience that again. He's just an incredibly special person."

Officer Jeff Baker received a Medal of Valor for it. Officer Baudler says, "The Medal of Valor is the epitome of a job well-done for the department. I don't believe I've ever heard of another officer giving it up for someone else." But Baker, now a Sergeant, delivered a plaque to Jason Pratt's wife Stacy Tuesday night. Baker's Medal of Valor is in the plaque; a gesture honoring Pratt and his wife for courage and determination.

Channel 6 News contacted Sgt. Baker Wednesday but he didn't want to talk about the gift to Stacy Pratt. He simply said giving up the Medal of Valor is about Jason and Stacy Pratt, not him. Other officers have said that a commanding officer is currently putting together the paperwork so that Officer Pratt could receive a Purple Heart from the department.

As for the auction Wednesday night, the items that have not yet been sold will be part of the benefit dinner at the police union hall on Sunday. That's at 134th and Cryer and it will run from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.


Officer Jason Pratt Dies

Funeral arrangements announced

Omaha Police Officer Jason "Tye" Pratt has died in the hospital after a week in intensive care with a gunshot wound to the head. His survivors include his wife, Stacy, and two daughters, ages 3 and eight months.
Officer Pratt was shot while assisting with a traffic stop on Thursday, September 11. Authorities say that 21-year-old Albert Rucker was driving erratically and fled the vehicle he was driving when he was pulled over. Within minutes, Officer Pratt had been shot in the head and police had shot Rucker.

Rucker died some four hours later. Pratt remained hospitalized in extremely critical condition for a week before he died early Friday morning. Acting Police Chief Al Pepin says, "He was a fighter and a warrior. He fought to hang on and ultimately lost that fight." That Pratt could defy the odds for a week doesn't surprise the other officers on the force.

Pratt was a member of Omaha's Emergency Response Unit, the equivalent of a SWAT team. The elite unit is trained for the most dangerous duty. As word spread of the officer's death, a bouquet of flowers was placed at the memorial outside police headquarters. In the next few days Jason Pratt's name will be chiseled in stone, along with the other officers who have died in the line of duty.

Omaha Police Captain Thomas Warren says, "Officer Pratt made the ultimate sacrifice in terms of sacrificing his life to serve this community and he served his community well." In perhaps their darkest hour, less than two hours after Jason died, his family exhibited that same selflessness.

Creighton University Medical Center's assistant administrator Chris Hyers says, "They ask that we express again to the community their profound gratitude for everything, the prayers; the thoughts and ask that you continue that."

The funeral will take place at 10:00 A.M., Tuesday, September 23, 2003 at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capital Avenue. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetary, 78th and West Center Road.

The exact motorcade route will be announced later.


Honors Given Police Officers Rare

Purple Heart, Medal of Valor not often awarded

Two of the highest honors the Omaha Police Department awards are the Purple Heart, given to an officer severely injured while on-duty, and the Medal of Valor, which goes to someone who saves a life or risks his or her own life to help others. What will happen regarding Sgt. Jason Pratt? Two days before Pratt died, he received a plaque honoring him and wife Stacy for their courage, honor, and determination. A fellow officer took his own Medal of Valor off the uniform and gave it him. A gift that speaks volumes about the impact Sgt. Pratt had on others during his eight years on the force.

While police work is dangerous, it takes a rare occasion to qualify for the honor. Since 2000, a Medal of Valor has been awarded just seven times in the Omaha Police Department. The Purple Heart has been handed out even less, with one in 2000, two in 2001, and none last year. "All police officers face a tough job everyday and they're always at risk," said Omaha Police Sgt. Kathy Gonzalez. "We just don't hand them out. They're given for specific reasons and saved for the most serious occasions."

Officer Jeff Holland received both a Medal of Valor and a Purple Heart in 2000 for fighting off two bank robbers and protecting the customers. He took three bullets in the struggle and survived. Officers Juan Fortier and David Preston received Purple Hearts in 2001 after being injured in an exchange of gunfire during a domestic dispute. Three other law enforcement officers were honored with a Medal of Valor for taking down the suspect. In 2002, the department awarded three officers a Medal of Valor for their actions during a gun battle with a drug suspect at 23rd and Gilmore Avenue.

There's no question Sgt. Pratt will receive a Purple Heart. He gave his life to the job, but if only he could have put it on his own uniform like some of the others. The Omaha Police Department is still working out details regarding the official honors for Sgt. Pratt.


Pratt Family Overwhelmed By Support

Thousands turn out for benefit

The Omaha Police Union held a benefit Sunday in honor of Sgt. Jason Pratt, who died Friday of a gunshot wound suffered a week earlier while trying to apprehend a suspect. Pratt's family is overwhelmed by the support. At times, the line outside the Omaha Police Union at 134th and Cryer was nearly a block long. By mid-afternoon, an estimated 5,000 people had gone through the meal-ticket line.

Jason Tye Pratt was remembered as a hero. His parents and brother were overwhelmed and encouraged by the turnout. "I just think that the amount of people that are here is a testament to who Tye was," said Michael Pratt, Jason's brother. "That this many people would show up to support someone they didn't even know." "I just don't know how to thank everybody for the support," added Rita Pratt, Jason's mother. "Love your kids. Give them a kiss and tell them you love them everyday of the week and just remember our police officers are out there to protect us and Tye gave his life and loved his job. He was a wonderful boy, wonderful boy, and we're sure going to miss him. Thirty years wasn't long enough to have a son."

Several Omaha restaurants and grocery stores donated food for the benefit dinner. Others came forward with hundreds of auction items. "I know Jason is smiling on top of us right now, probably wondering why we're making such a big deal, but I know he would be happy to see this," said Officer Paul Milone, who was Pratt's partner last year.

Jason's love of hunting, wildlife, and Nebraska sports was present. Several Huskers donated items for the silent auction, including one of only three Eric Crouch mini-Heisman trophies. Sen. Ben Nelson donated an American flag that flew over the capitol. "Tye's great and Omaha's great and they're proving that right now," said Jason's father, Mike Pratt Sr. The community support is proof the statement on the T-shirts made in Pratt's honor is real. The shirts read, "Jason, the 'Tye' that bands us together, always on our minds and forever in our hearts." Pratt's mother said the hardest part about the loss of her son is knowing that Jason won't be able to watch his two daughters grow up. She said she'll make sure that someday 8-month-old Jordyn and 3-year-old Madison will hear the stories of what their father did as badge 1463 to protect and serve.

Fundraiser organizers haven't had a chance yet to total Sunday's efforts. Fundraisers in the past week have pulled in several thousand dollars. The money goes to Stacy Pratt.

The funeral will be held at the Civic Auditorium Tuesday at 10 a.m. From there, a procession will carry Pratt to Calvary Cemetery. It will begin at the Civic, head down 19th to Farnam, continuing west along Farnam to Saddle Creek, then south on Saddle Creek to Center, and west on Center to Calvary Cemetery at 77th Street. Officials are asking the public to line the route for the funeral procession to pay their respects.

Channel 6 will have live, continuing coverage of Sgt. Pratt's funeral starting Tuesday morning.

Above accounts were reported by:


The following accounts were reported by...

Omaha Police Mourn Pratt's Death

"On Friday night Pratt's close friends and colleagues remembered a man they say will always bring a smile to their faces. The Omaha Police Department mourned collectively as Officer Jason Tye Pratt passed away from complications due to a gun shot wound while on duty.

"It's very difficult today. We lost one of our guys... that was one of the best we had. You can never replace someone like that," says Sgt. Kurt Sorys. Sorys who supervised Pratt on the SWAT team and his closest colleagues came together on Friday to support each other. "We all just gathered around telling stories and remembering the good moments, in which there were a lot of good moments remembering Ty," says Officer Scott Beran.

A mixture of tears and smiles covered the officers faces as they remembered a man who always had them smiling.
"The van was not the same if he wasn't on it. On the way to each call, the guy was non-stop entertainment," says Scott Beran.

In honor of Pratt members of the SWAT team inscribed his initials into a special coin. People around the city of Omaha today also honored Officer Pratt and showed respect to his family by flying flags at half mast.


Sgt. Jason Tye Pratt Remembered

An emotional day for all of Omaha, thousands turned out to pay their respects to Omaha Police Officer Jason Tye Pratt. Pratt was shot 10 days ago and died last Friday. On Tuesday a memorial service was held at Omaha's Civic Auditorium.

"This past week I've heard people use words to describe my brother: hero, bulldog, fighter...I realize Tye had one of largest families in world... more brothers and sisters than could be counted...I remember standing by his bed and holding his hand... he didn't respond in word but I heard him say I need to say goodbye to my family... So Tye, until we see you again, goodbye," said Michael, Tye's Brother.

Over 6,000 people packed the civic. Many were family friends and fellow officers of Jason Tye Pratt but there were also plenty of strangers who just wanted to pay their respects. No matter who they were the memorial service seemed to touch them.

After the memorial service a gauntlet of police officers greet the funeral procession as it pulls up to Omaha's Civic Auditorium. Sgt. Jason Tye Pratt's widow Stacy filed out clutching a white rose in remembrance of Tye.

They filtered out with tears in their eyes. The pallbearers followed by Pratt's widow and relatives. Officers from Sgt. Pratt's own precinct left holding hands with their own families.

The procession started as a huge crowd looked on. Among them several officers wives who were deeply affected. Law enforcement from Missouri to South Dakota showed up to pay their respects too. It's that type of support and the people of Omaha who lined roof tops to say goodbye that's helping Officer Jason Tye Pratt's friends and family.

Jason Tye Pratt is the first police officer killed in the line of duty since Jimmy Wilson Junior died in 1995. Pratt leaves behind his wife stacy and two daughters, Madison age three and eight-month-old Jordyn."


WEDNESDAY, October 29, 2003 burke beat NEWS

Laura Keller
staff reporter
On Sept. 23, anyone from outside of Nebraska would have thought the world had stopped to watch a 25-mile procession of vehicles slowly roll down Farnam Street. The world had stopped; it stopped to honor and remember fallen Police Sgt. Jason Tye Pratt.
While making a routine traffic stop on Sept. 11, 30-year-old Pratt pulled over a man for speeding.The man escaped from the car, and while hiding in a bush, shot Officer Pratt. Pratt was hospitalized for nine days until he died Sept. 19.
On the day of his funeral, Sept. 23, tens of thousands of people turned out to honor Pratt. Only four Omaha police officers have died while on duty since 1970. It is an unnerving thing for other officers, however, because the events that lead to the shooting were routine.
The community has done much to support Pratt’s wife and two young daughters, including silent auctions, a raffle and show by the Young Americans. The police in Omaha are putting Pratt’s name on the monument of fallen officers in front of the police station.Burke High School has a deeper connection to Pratt. During his senior year in high school, Officer Pratt, a ‘92 graduate, played on the Varsity football team. Before the Sept. 19 football game against Lincoln Northstar, his jersey, number 33, was carried across the field by three fellow officers and retired.

"Will You Remember Me?"

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