OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A suspect being sought by police for an Omaha shooting opened fire Wednesday on officers, prompting police to return gunfire in a shootout that left one officer and the suspect dead, Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said.
Officer Kerrie Orozco, 29, died at Creighton University Medical Center shortly after the 1 p.m. shooting, Schmaderer said at a hospital news conference. Schmaderer said the suspect, 26-year-old Marcus Wheeler, also died at the hospital.
Schmaderer said Orozco was part of a team of officers looking for Wheeler to serve a felony arrest warrant. Wheeler, who was wanted on warrant charging him in a previous shooting, opened fire on the officers as they approached him. Officers fired back, and Wheeler was later found behind a neighbor’s house suffering from gunshot wounds, the chief said.
Paramedics performed CPR on both the officer and the suspect as they were taken to the hospital.
Orozco was a seven-year veteran of the department and worked in its gang unit, Schmaderer said. She was also a new mother with a premature baby who is in an Omaha hospital.
“(The baby) is set to be released from the hospital tomorrow,” Schmaderer said, his voice breaking.
It’s been more than 10 years since an Omaha officer was killed in the line of duty, when Officer Jason “Tye” Pratt was shot and killed in September 2003, while chasing down a fleeing suspect. The suspect, 21-year-old Albert Rucker of Omaha, was in turn shot and killed by another officer.
Orozco is the first female Omaha police officer to die in the line of duty, according to a list on the Officer Down Memorial online page.
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