New mom and cop Kerrie Orozco gave birth to a baby girl in February. Now, 3-months-old, the baby – Olivia Ruth – has been in the hospital her whole life and was set to be released Thursday. Sadly, on Wednesday, Kerrie was killed in the line of duty.
She’d saved her maternity leave until her daughter was able to come home.
A 7-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department and a member of its gang unit since 2012, Orozco, 29, was serving a felony arrest warrant on a convicted felon and known gang member with her fellow officials at the time, the Associated Press reported. Marcus Wheeler, 26, was wanted in connected with another shooting.
When the new mom arrived at his house, Wheeler allegedly shot at officers, who returned gunfire; witnesses told WOWT that they heard 15 shots.
In the end, she was killed and so was Marcus, who was found behind his neighbor’s house with gunshot wounds and a semi-automatic. Doctors worked hard to save both their lives, NBC News added.
Their efforts were for naught.
“A life taken too soon,” OPD posted on its Facebook page. “(She was) not only a top notch (cop) but she gave back to the community in so many ways.”
She also leaves behind other children besides Olivia. With husband Hector, she had a stepdaughter named Natalia, 8, and a stepson Santiago, 6.
Following her death, her friends and colleagues lauded the new mom’s dedication to her community – she was baseball coach at the Boys and Girls Club, volunteered with the Special Olympics, and was a Girl Scout leader, Pix11 reported.
The city’s police chief, Todd Schmaderer, said she was “such a wonderful person.”
This is the first time in 10 years a cop has been killed in the line of duty, and Kerrie, the first woman. In 2003, Officer Jason “Tye” Pratt was fatally shot while chasing suspect, the AP added.
The loss has proven difficult for the department, said Chief Schmaderer.
“She was a friend, a popular officer. I just can’t even imagine that this has happened. The city of Omaha owes her and her family a debt of gratitude.”
[Photos Courtesy Facebook]