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article imageOmaha policewoman shot dead by 'gang member' who is also killed

By Marcus Hondro     May 21, 2015 in Crime
A 29-year-old female police officer in Omaha, Nebraska, a member of the city's gang unit, was shot and killed by a "known gang-member" while trying to arrest him today. She leaves behind a newborn.
Suspect opens fire
The officer, Kerrie Orozco, 29, died at Creighton University Medical Center after the 1 p.m. shootout Wednesday. She and other members of a fugitive task force were approaching 26-year-old Marcus Wheeler to arrest him on an outstanding felony warrant for a previous shooting.
The suspect opened fire, police said, hitting Orozco; none of the other officers were hit and they were able to return fire. The suspect fled and was found, with a semi-automatic handgun nearby, wounded behind a residential home. He also died later in hospital.
Witnesses said that at least 15 shots were fired. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Wheeler was "a convicted felon and a known gang member."
Officer Orozco: Newborn baby
The police chief told media that the deceased officer had given birth recently to a premature baby due "to be released from the hospital tomorrow." In her report on the shooting, AP reporter Margery A. Beck wrote that Chief Schmaderer's voice was "breaking" when he told media about the deceased officer's newborn.
Officer Orozco was heavily involved in the community and her chief said she will be dearly missed. "She was a friend, a popular officer, a top-notch person." he said. "And I just can't even imagine this has happened. The city of Omaha owes her and her family a debt of gratitude."
The last time a police officer was killed in the line of duty in Omaha was more than 10 years ago and that death was similar to Wednesday's tragedy. Officer Jason Pratt was shot by a fleeing suspect, Albert Rucker. In that incident, Rucker was also shot and killed.
Officer Orozco, a seven-year veteran of the force, also leaves behind a husband and two stepchildren aged six and seven, along with her mother and two sisters.
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