Kerrie Orozco was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday, hours before she was to bring her 3-month-old baby girl, Olivia Ruth, home from the hospital.
Olivia Ruth was born in February and was supposed to be released from the Nebraska Medical Unit on Thursday. Orozco, who had delayed her maternity leave until she could bring her baby home, was going to take time off to look after her daughter on the same day.
The 29-year-old Omaha police officer was shot in an exchange of gunfire while serving an arrest warrant to a convicted felon, NBC News reported.
Orozco, a seven-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department, worked for the Gang Unit since 2012.
She was part of a task force sent to serve a felony warrant arrest to Marcus Wheeler, a 26-year-old known gang member wanted in connection to a shooting in Omaha, Police Chief Todd Schmaderer told reporters.
When Wheeler saw police waiting for him he shot at them and ran through a wooded area. Both Wheeler and Orozco were then hit in an exchange of gunfire between him and members of the task force.
They were rushed to the Creighton University Medical Center but neither survived.
Orozco, who coached baseball and volunteered with the Special Olympics at a club, was married to Hector Orozco and had two stepchildren, Natalie, 8, and Santiago, 6.
Orozco and her husband — who met when she was working as an off-duty security guard at a nightclub — were married in a civil ceremony in 2011 and had a church wedding in 2012, Omaha.com reported.
A Girl Scout Leader, Orozco coached baseball at the North Omaha Boys and Girls Club, where she was a volunteer for several activities, including organizing pizza parties.
"Officer Kerrie Orozco was not only a top notch police officer but she gave back to the community in so many ways," the Omaha Police Department said in a Facebook post.
"A life taken too soon," the Omaha Police Department wrote on Facebook. Orozco is the department's first female police officer to be killed in the line of duty.
She was the 25th Omaha officer killed on duty and the first since 2003, Omaha.com reported.
Donations worth $68,000 poured in from nearly 1,800 donors for the Orozco family.
"This is a somber day for the city of Omaha," Schmaderer said at the news conference. "Officer Orozco was a top-notch individual, and the city of Omaha owes her a debt of gratitude, and her family, like no other."
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at email@example.com.
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