A U.S. Marshal deputy is on leave after being involved in the shooting of an armed 18-year-old outside the Nebraska Capitol Tuesday.

Mark Martinez, the U.S. marshal for the District of Nebraska, said Friday that the Marshals Service isn’t releasing the deputy's name, per policy, and the deputy is on leave at Martinez' discretion.

Martinez said during a news conference Tuesday that members of the Marshals Service internal affairs office will work with the Lincoln Police Department to determine what happened during the shooting.

Since the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office and Marshals Service both have deputies who fired their weapons at the man, LPD is conducting the investigation of the shooting, Sheriff Terry Wagner said. But the Sheriff's Office and Marshals Service will each also do its own internal investigation.

The sheriff's deputy who was involved in the shooting is also on leave, Wagner said. The deputy’s name hasn’t been released.

Tareik Artis was shot after running from police with a loaded .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun. Police Chief Jim Peschong said witnesses and members of the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force told police they saw Artis point his gun at uniformed officers. 

The incident began when a Lincoln police officer saw Artis in the back seat of a vehicle near 12th and K streets just after 1 p.m. Tuesday, Peschong said. The officer was in the area looking for Artis, who had run away after being stopped for speeding on July 23, he said.

The officer stopped the vehicle to issue Artis citations for speeding, having no operator’s license and fleeing, Peschong said. Two other people were in the car with Artis when it was stopped. Peschong said at least one saw Artis with a gun as he ran, but didn’t know he had the firearm before. Their names haven’t been released.

When the officer approached Artis on Tuesday, Artis pushed the officer and took off, Peschong said. The officer saw the pistol in Artis' waistband and radioed that information to other units, the chief said.

A nearby deputy U.S. marshal and Lancaster County sheriff's deputy heard the broadcast and joined in the pursuit, Wagner said Tuesday.

The deputy marshal and sheriff’s deputy both fired shots, authorities have said.

Authorities haven’t said where Artis was shot or how many times. He was in surgery for two hours Tuesday and has remained in critical but stable condition. Peschong said Artis is expected to live. Authorities haven't said who the gun is registered to.

The deputy marshal involved in the shooting is part of the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force, which is a collaboration between the U.S. Marshals Service and local law enforcement, Martinez said.

“We conduct fugitive investigations, which means we try to find wanted fugitives and, generally speaking, dangerous felons,” he said about the task force.

Peschong said there wasn't a warrant out for Artis' arrest. Other than a couple of minor drug-related infractions, Artis has no criminal record.

There are between 70 and 80 Metro Area Fugitive Task Force groups throughout the country and 94 U.S. Marshal districts, Martinez said.

“(The U.S. Marshals) sponsor the task forces,” he said. “We provide equipment, training, and we provide a certain amount of money for overtime.”

The U.S. Marshals Service in Nebraska has one supervisor, one supervisory deputy and five deputy marshals based in Lincoln. Its main office is in Omaha.

The main focuses of the U.S. Marshals Service are guarding federal courthouses and fugitive investigations. The marshals also handle witness protection and witness security and assist in forfeitures and prisoner transportation.

Deputy marshals have backgrounds ranging from military service to experience at local-level law enforcement agencies, Martinez said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7395 or nmanna@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSNicholeManna.


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