Special committee digs into Nikko Jenkins case

By: Jenn Schanz

It was a tragedy that shocked the state. Last August, just three weeks after his release from prison, 27–year–old Nikko Jenkins went on a rampage. He shot and killed four people in Omaha in a span of 10 days.

Jenkins was convicted of the murders in April, and is now in custody in Lincoln.

Prior to the spree, he was serving time for violent crimes. Not only did that time get cut in half by the Good Time Law, he warned officials he’d be violent again.

“What happened with his release? While he’s telling people he’s going to get out and kill people and he wants to go to the Regional Center how come that didn’t happen?” asks Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha. 

A legislative committee, with subpoena power, was recently formed to look into it.

By phone, Jenkins tells us he welcomes the investigation.

“The truth is coming out about everything that, how I did not want to be released how I wanted treatment, you know,” says Jenkins. 

Jenkins claims a mental illness contributed to the murders.

“These are demons. These are what haunts me, taunts me, and tortures my brain everyday and I see these things,” he says. 

The husband of one of his victims, Andrea Kruger, is suing the state for more than $7 million. Because of Jenkins, he’s left raising their kids alone.

The committee doesn’t want to derail any lawsuits from the victims’ families, but instead, wants to focus solely on determining what could have been done differently by the Department of Corrections. The members will look at overcrowding, segregation and mental health resources, both in relation to Jenkins and the system over the last several years.

“Once we make the records requests that will allow us what direction do we want to go in what do we want our focus to be,” says Sen. Lathrop. 

I reached out to the DOC and did not get a response.