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LPD officer in critical condition after being shot Wednesday

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 11:57 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2020 at 6:23 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - An officer is in critical condition after he was shot while serving a warrant near 33rd and Vine streets on Wednesday.

Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said the officer, a 23-year-veteran of the force, underwent surgery and is in critical condition. He is “fighting for his life,” Bliemeister said.

Bliemeister said officers were at a home in the area serving an arrest warrant for 17-year-old Felipe Vazquez in connection to the March homicide of Edward Varejcka. The warrant was for second-degree assault.

Officers said that during the process of serving the warrant, the officer was shot after two suspects broke through the front window of the home and fired. Officers did return fire, but no one else was shot.

Vazquez was arrested by police following the incident, as was Orion J. Ross, 19.

Bliemeister said Ross fled the scene after the shooting but was arrested a short time later.

It is still unclear who shot the officer, and a firearm has been recovered, police said.

The warrant was issued for Vazquez on August 21.

Officers continue to work in the area of 33rd and Vine Streets to O Street Wednesday evening so there may still be traffic delays. Police insist there is no longer a threat to the public.

“Today’s shooting of a Lincoln Police Officer is a reminder that our law enforcement professionals put their lives on the line every day to keep our city safe. On behalf of the entire community, we extend our best wishes to the officer for a quick and full recovery from his injuries. Our thoughts are with him and his family, friends, and co-workers at this difficult time.”

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird

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