May 23, 2015

Funeral arrangements set for Officer Kerrey Orozco

The Omaha Police Department remains in shock after the shooting death of Officer Kerrie Orozco Wednesday in the line of duty. John Wells is the president of the Omaha Police Officer’s Association and explains what fellow officers are feeling right now.

Wells says, “You are trained to expect this could happen but it doesn’t really prepare you for when it happens to one of your own or really close to home. The initial feelings are usually shock and typically followed by grief and a roller coaster of emotions.”

Officer Orozco’s baby, Olivia was born last February. She arrived early and remained hospitalized at Nebraska Medicine. She was scheduled to come home for the first time on Thursday. Officer Orozco was also planning on starting her maternity leave the day after she was killed.

Wells says the outpouring from the community toward the entire department is overwhelming and thanks everyone. Those wanting to donate to a fund set up for Olivia can do so through the Omaha Police Credit Union or online to the omahapolicefoundation.org. Sarpy County is collecting items for Olivia such as diapers and other baby items at several locations. The Omaha Police Department will also hold a benefit at a later date.

Funeral services for Officer Orozco are as follows –

Visitation is Monday at St. John’s Catholic Church at Creighton University. Omaha police officers and close friends are invited from 2 pm until 4 pm. Friends and the public from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 11 am at St. John’s Church. Additional seating will be available at the CenturyLink Center with a large screen video feed.

Burial is at St. Joseph Cemetery in Council Bluffs.

Gov. Ricketts offers condolences to Officer Orozco’s family (AUDIO)

Gov. Pete Ricketts pays tribute to slain Omaha police officer Kerrie Orozco prior to a news conference

Gov. Pete Ricketts pays tribute to slain Omaha police officer Kerrie Orozco prior to a news conference

Gov. Pete Ricketts paused during a news conference on highway safety to remember slain Omaha police officer Kerrie Orozco.

“I’d like to take a moment right now to remember one of the members of our law enforcement community who has passed away recently,” Ricketts said. “The terrible tragedy with Officer Orozco is something that reminds us that everyone who puts on the blue risks everything to keep us safe.”

Ricketts made the remarks prior to a news conference at the Nebraska Department of Roads and Nebraska State Patrol headquarters in Lincoln on highway safety during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Orozco, a seven-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department, was shot and killed trying to serve a warrant on a known gang member. The gang member also died in the shootout.

Orozco was 29.

Gov. Ricketts said he was grateful for the outpouring of support from throughout Nebraska for the Orozco family.

Nebraska State Patrol Superintendent Bradley Rice also offered the patrol’s support for Orozco’s family and the Omaha Police Department.

“It’s truly a tragedy and our hearts go out to them,” Rice stated. “We do offer our continued prayers and support and it makes all of us think quite a bit about how short life is and how brief it is.”

Orozco is survived by her husband, two step-children and a baby girl. Baby Olivia was born prematurely on February 7 and Orozco was due to go on maternity leave Thursday as her baby was being released from the hospital.

AUDIO:  Gov. Pete Ricketts pays tribute to slain Omaha police officer Kerrie Orozco. [1 min.]

Omaha Police Chief Schmaderer shares details leading to fatal shooting of Officer Kerrie Orozco

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer released more information about the shooting death of Officer Karrie Orozco Wednesday.

Schmaderer says Sgt. Jeffrey Kopietz and Officer Robert Laney, both members of the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force, were conducting surveillance along Martin Avenue just before 1 pm in northeast Omaha when they spotted the suspect, Marcus Wheeler. He was ordered to stop.

Chief Schmaderer says Wheeler fired shots and ran. Officer Laney did not fire back but radioed Sgt. Kopietz who soon located Wheeler nearby. Sgt. Kopetz ordered Wheeler to stop. Wheeler then fired shots at Sgt. Kopetz who returned fire and again Wheeler ran.

Chief Schmaderer says that is when Officer Kerrie Orozco and her partner, Officer Jeffery Shada, arrived as back-up. Sgt. Kopetz again spotted Wheeler and another round of gunfire was exchanged when Officer Orozco shouted she had been struck.   He says Wheeler was located in a nearby back yard and was also injured.

Both were taken to CHI Creighton University Medical Center where they were later pronounced dead.

Chief Schmaderer says Officer Orozco was struck by a bullet above her protective vest. Sgt. Kopietz was the only officer that fired a service weapon. He remains on administrative leave pending an internal and Grand Jury investigation.

Iowa Gov. Branstad pays tribute to slain Omaha police officer, will attend funeral

Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco/Photo courtesy of Omaha Police Dept.

Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco/Photo courtesy of Omaha Police Dept.

Iowa’s governor has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff Tuesday in honor of the Omaha police officer who was killed in the line of duty this week.

Twenty-nine-year-old Kerrie Orozco was shot and killed Wednesday while serving an arrest warrant on a known gang member in Omaha. Orozco was a native of Walnut, Iowa, and she lived in Council Bluffs.

The governor’s order to lower flags in honor of Orozco applies to all state and U.S. flags at state facilities, but cities, counties and individual Iowans are encouraged to lower their flags as well on Tuesday as a show of respect for the slain policewoman.

Orozco is survived by her husband, two step-children and a baby girl. Baby Olivia was born prematurely on February 7 and Orozco was due to go on maternity leave Thursday as her baby was being released from the hospital.

Governor Branstad plans to attend Orozco’s funeral on Tuesday.

By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa

Omaha police officer killed serving felony warrant

Officer Kerrie Orozco works with neighborhood youth/Photo courtesy of Omaha Police Dept.

Officer Kerrie Orozco works with neighborhood youth/Photo courtesy of Omaha Police Dept.

The Omaha Police Department, area law enforcement and the community is mourning the death of Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco.

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer made the announcement Wednesday that she was killed in the line of duty.

Officer Orozco was a member of the fugitive task force. Chief Schmaderer says she and other officers were in a northeast neighborhood of 31st and Vane just before 1 pm to serve a felony warrant to suspect Marcus Wheeler for 1st degree assault related to an earlier shooting. Wheeler then fired shots at officers and ran.

Omaha officers followed Wheeler to 30th and Martin Avenue where shots were exchanged between Wheeler and officers. It was then Officer Orozco was shot. Officers at the scene immediately started CPR until medics arrived.

Officers followed Wheeler who was found in a nearby yard. He too was shot and officers started CPR.

Both Officer Orozco and Wheeler were transported to CHI Creighton University’s trauma center. Surgeon, Dr. Michael Wagner says both were given immediate care but neither could be resuscitated.

Officer Orozco with her family/OPD photo

Officer Orozco with her family/OPD photo

Chief Schmaderer says Officer Orozco leaves behind a husband and two step children. She gave birth to a baby girl on February 17th. The baby was premature and was still receiving care at Nebraska Medicine. The baby was scheduled to be released Thursday. Officer Orozco was planning to start her maternity leave today.

Wheeler was a convicted felon and a known gang member.