Police Officer Mom Shot & Killed One Day Before Start of Maternity Leave

A police officer from Omaha, Nebraska, who had just given birth to her first child a month ago, was killed in the line of duty Wednesday — just one day before she was scheduled to begin her maternity leave.

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Kerrie Orozco, 29, gave birth to a premature baby girl named Olivia Ruth one month ago. She and her husband of three years were just one day away from being able to bring their daughter home from the hospital, on the same day the seven-year police veteran planned to start maternity leave, when Orozco was sent out on assignment to arrest a fugitive felon wanted in connection with a shooting.

While chasing Marcus D. Wheeler, 26, on foot, she and two other cops reportedly caught up with him and opened fire on the suspect, wounding him. At that point, the suspect shot at Orozco before fleeing and ultimately collapsing in a yard three houses away.

Both Orozco and Wheeler were pronounced dead at a hospital that day.

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This story just breaks your heart. Obviously, it's devastating to hear about any new parent who is taken too soon and doesn't get a chance to experience his or her child.

But really struck me about this story is that Orozco was committed to both her family and to her job. I'm sure she didn't feel 100 percent after childbirth because, well, how many women do? Yet she postponed her maternity leave so that it would coincide with the time her newborn would be released from NICU.

This mom returned to work and bravely went about protecting other people's children, only to be gunned down by the suspect. Our hearts go out to her husband, Hector Orozco Lopez, their baby girl, and her two step children. Their mom died a hero.

 

Image courtesy Omaha Police Department

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