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Update: Police chief says there’s no ongoing threat to public after Tuesday shooting

August 2, 2018

Investigators have determined that the shooting that killed a 36-year-old mother and grandmother early Tuesday in her north Lincoln home “was not random,” Lincoln police chief said Wednesday morning.

“We do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the public,” Jeff Bliemeister added.

At least two people broke into the home at 1950 Fairfield St. just after 3:30 a.m. and shot and killed Jessica M. Brandon, Bliemeister said, adding that it’s too early to say if Brandon was their target.

Police have identified persons of interest in the shooting but have not released information about them. No motive has been established.

Investigators continue to search the home and review interviews conducted with the two other adults -- Brandon’s boyfriend and his mother -- and four children inside the home when the shooting occurred.

Bliemeister asked for anyone with information or anyone in the neighborhood with video surveillance outside their home or business to contact police at 402-441-6000 or make an anonymous report to Crimestoppers at 402-475-3600.

No one else was injured in the shooting. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Several neighbors told the Journal Star they heard multiple gunshots in at least two volleys of gunfire, but they didn’t see the intruders.

It’s unclear what, if anything, a surveillance camera on the home’s garage may have captured leading up to and following the shooting.

Neighbors said Brandon and her family moved into the home last year.

They were friendly and mostly kept to themselves, but they allowed neighbor children to use their pool.

“Jessica was taken far (too) early,” an online fundraiser for Brandon’s family said.

Tuesday’s shooting sent a chill down Fairfield Street, said a handful of longtime residents in the Belmont neighborhood.

That street gets busy with traffic passing through to connect to 27th Street or Cornhusker Highway, but aside from the occasional property crime, people generally felt safe.

But four murders in the Belmont neighborhood in 2016 began to change that, and following a shooting on their street, three residents who didn’t feel comfortable being identified in the newspaper said Tuesday they were worried for their safety.

One woman who has lived on Fairfield Street for 10 years said her husband went outside after hearing the gunshots and seeing police cars.

“Just lock the door and get inside,” he told her.

Sheila Ballard, who lives near Brandon’s house, said she struggled in finding what to tell her children about the shooting and whether she can reassure them they’re safe in their home with such scant details about why Brandon was shot.

“Something has changed in the Belmont neighborhood,” Ballard said.

The woman’s killing marks the second homicide in Lincoln this year. Both were shootings.

In March, Edgar Union Jr. was fatally shot following a disturbance between feuding gangs in a neighborhood west of Union College.

The alleged shooter, 16-year-old Natavian Morton, is at the Lancaster County juvenile detention center pending trial on second-degree murder and several weapons charges.

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