Man sought by Omaha Police in Regency homicide shot, killed by officers

OPD says shooting occurred near Iowa Western Community College after a high-speed chase into Council Bluffs
It was an intense day for Omaha Police after a domestic assault led to a homicide investigation, a high-speed chase, and an officer-involved shooting.
Published: Jul. 8, 2023 at 2:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2023 at 6:45 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It was an intense day for Omaha Police after a domestic assault led to a homicide investigation, a search for a person of interest, a high-speed chase, and an officer-involved shooting death.

It all started at roughly 5:40 a.m. Saturday, when officers responded to a “check-well-being” call regarding a domestic assault that led to an investigation at a home on Essex Drive, near Regency Park. Officers made their way into the home and found 52-year-old Steven Greg Donsbach dead, apparently by gunshot.

By then, OPD investigators had a person of interest — Matthew Briggs, 41, who was believed to be carrying a gun — and made his identity known to the public ahead of an afternoon news conference at the residence.

Matthew Briggs
Matthew Briggs(WOWT)

Authorities said Saturday that they hadn’t yet determined a motive for the homicide, but that they had conducted several interviews.

Police had also asked the public to be on the lookout for a 2005 red Buick Century sedan, with Nebraska license plates, which they said was registered to Briggs. The vehicle was located on a routine patrol not long after in Mandan Park near Bellevue.

Then at about 3:30 p.m., a carjacking was reported south of the park. Police believe Briggs used a firearm in the carjacking, but are still confirming details, Christensen said.

“Officers quickly acquired the vehicle, at which time a pursuit ensued involving multiple jurisdiction units as well as the Omaha Police helicopter,” Christensen said. “That pursuit ended here in Council Bluffs.”

The chase, at times exceeding 100 miles per hour, crossed into Iowa on Interstate 80 before heading south on Interstate 29. Police said the driver exited I-29 at Bunge Avenue, then headed east then north before turning onto Wabash Avenue. The chase continued at speeds above 80 miles per hour along Wabash Avenue, all the way back around to Council Bluffs. The driver made his way onto Valley View Drive, with the chase ending several miles north at College Road.

They were near Iowa Western Community College when officers shot Briggs. Christensen said officers performed life-saving measures on Briggs before first responders took Briggs to Nebraska Medical Center, where he was declared dead.

Christensen said two officers fired their weapons in the shooting that ultimately led to Briggs’ death. The investigation was still in its preliminary stages, so OPD won’t say which agencies’ officers shot him.

Following Briggs’ shooting, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation activated an officer-involved investigation team in conjunction with Omaha and Council Bluffs police departments.

“The coordination and collaboration between all the jurisdictions has been absolutely phenomenal,” Christensen said in a briefing at the Council Bluffs scene Saturday evening.

The investigation is preliminary at this time and is ongoing, so OPD won’t say which agencies’ officers shot Briggs.

Digital Producer Nick Stavas contributed to this report.