A 29-year-old Omaha police officer was fatally shot during her last shift before going on maternity leave. As the city flew its flags at half-staff, the police department assembled and shared the simple phrase “Kerrie On” in remembrance of Officer Kerrie Orozco.
According to FOX News, Orozco had given birth to her daughter Olivia prematurely on February 17. The seven-year department veteran was going to bring her home from the hospital on Thursday and start her maternity leave. As fate would have it, it never happened.
Orozco was killed on Wednesday in the line of duty when she was struck by a fugitive’s bullet just above her bulletproof vest. Part of a fugitive task force, she and a team of officers were closing in on convicted felon Marcus Wheeler when he opened fire. If the bullet had hit her just an inch lower, it would have struck her protective vest instead of fatally wounding her.
Laurie McNeil, Orozco’s aunt, said she had a bad feeling on Wednesday when she saw a breaking news flash about an Omaha police officer being fatally shot.
“I immediately turned on the Internet and started watching,” McNeil said. “I was hoping to see her walk across the screen.”
When the news reported that it had been a female officer, McNeil knew in her heart it had been Orozco. “I knew it was her because I knew she would be right there in the middle of it,” she said.
FOX News reported that flags were flown at half-staff on Friday as the city mourned the loss of a police officer, mother and community leader. Orozco was described as a “very strong Catholic girl” who was always smiling and participated in many community organizations. She was a baseball coach for the North Omaha Boys and Girls Club, a Girl Scout mentor and a Special Olympics volunteer.
McNeil said her niece was so excited about being a mother. “She had the bassinet all set up by the side of the bed,” she said. “She wanted to be ready.”
The Omaha Police Department posted a message from one of Orozco’s fellow officers on Facebook, who coined the phrase “Kerrie On.” “As I was reminiscing and mourning Kerrie with my OPD family this wonderful phrase came to our attention,” the Omaha officer wrote. “We must “Kerrie On” in order to share her legacy and honor her as a hero.”