OMAHA – Omaha police officer and a suspect involved in a shootout Wednesday have died. Kerrie Orozco, 29, a gang unit officer, was serving a warrant on the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force when she was shot.
Orozco is the 25th officer – and first female – in the department killed in the line of duty. Orozco had been taken to Creighton University Medical Center in extremely critical condition after being shot about 1 p.m. near Read Street and Martin Avenue.
Omaha police had responded to a “Help an officer” call at 30th Street and Martin Avenue. Officers were serving a felony arrest warrant about 12:55 p.m., said Deputy Police Chief Dave Baker. During the process of serving the warrant, shots were fired, he said.
Orozco and the suspect, Marcus D. Wheeler, 26, were taken to the Creighton hospital in extremely critical condition, with CPR in progress. “In spite of our most valiant efforts and aggressive care,” Orozco and Wheeler were unable to be resuscitated, said trauma surgeon Dr. Michel Wagner.
At a press conference at the hospital, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said, “This is a somber day for the city of Omaha, Omaha police officers especially, and the entire law enforcement community.” He said Orozco was a seven-year veteran of the department and had worked in the gang unit since March 2012.
[…] Wheeler, who was wanted in a September shooting, was the suspect shot and killed Wednesday in a shootout with the Metro Area Task Force, law enforcement officials said.
Police had been unable to find Wheeler for months and told the public last year to consider Wheeler armed and dangerous.
Omaha police had been seeking Wheeler in connection with the Sept. 5 shooting of Antonio Martin near 60th Street and Curtis Avenue.
Martin told police Wheeler had threatened him on Facebook several days before he shot him, according to Douglas County Court documents.
Wheeler had also been charged in connection to two earlier shootings, but the charges were later dropped, according to court records.
In 2013, Wheeler was charged as an accessory to a June 2007 murder. Wheeler was also accused of shooting at an inhabited home in March 2013, attempting to cause serious bodily injury to Ashley Bordeaux. The Douglas County attorney dismissed charges in both cases.
In 2008, Wheeler was sentenced to five years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Wheeler got out on supervised release, but that was revoked in 2013. He return to prison and was released in February 2014.
On Wednesday, police handcuffed a woman at the shooting scene and took her into custody for questioning. (read more)