Omaha Officer gunned down by thug one day before her maternity leave
Omaha, Nebraska – A felony warrant service went terribly wrong on May 20, as gunfire broke out between police and suspect Marcus Wheeler. Omaha Police Detective Kerrie Orozco and the suspect were both killed in the exchange.
Shots rang out- witnesses stated about 15 shots in rapid succession. Members of the Fugitive Task Force rushed to Kerrie’s aid and began CPR. Both her and the suspect were transported to CHI Health, Creighton University Medical Center, where they succumbed to their injuries.
At 12:58 p.m., Orozco and other members of the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force were near Martin Avenue and Read Street, looking for Wheeler, when they spotted him about a block away, near 31st Avenue and Vane Street.
Wheeler shot at officers, then ran north through a wooded area toward the backyard of a house at 3057 Martin Ave.
Orozco, another officer and a sergeant confronted Wheeler, and shots were exchanged.
While officers rendered first aid to Orozco, Wheeler ran east and collapsed in the backyard at 3042 Read St. A semiautomatic handgun with a drum magazine was found near him.
According to local residents, the Metro Fugitive Task Force doesn’t go after minor offenders- they go after the ones with serious criminal histories. Police put up crime scene tape, and began searching the area for evidence. Police released everyone within the area of the crime scene. The investigation is ongoing.
End of watch, May 20, 2015
Detective Orozco spoke Spanish, and was a member of the department’s gang unit for the last 3 years. She served as interpreter for that unit. She had been with the Omaha Police for about 7 and a half years, and was active in her community- coaching baseball with the Omaha Boys and Girls Club and other activities. She was a volunteer with the Special Olympics, a Girl Scout Leader, and participated in the Shop With a Cop Program.
Wife, Mother, lost one fateful day
She was married to Hector Orozco, and had two step children, Natalie and Santiago. She gave birth to Olivia Ruth Orozco on February 17, 2015. The infant had been left in hospital care and was due to be released on May 21, when Kerrie was due to start her maternity leave. She died one day prior to being with her baby.
Kerrie’s death is a loss for the Omaha police, the citizens of Omaha and her family. It seems that often the good die young, perhaps because they are willing to place themselves in harm’s way to help others. When someone enters the field of law enforcement, they are aware of the risks. Those risks come with the badge, and the possibility of being gunned down by a thug is included. Rest in peace, Kerrie, you left a legacy of good things in your community.