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Court Records: Suspect was locked in room before shooting officer with stolen gun

Two arrested in connection to officer being shot.
Two arrested in connection to officer being shot.(Lincoln Police)
Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 11:54 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Recently released court documents provide additional details about what led up to the shooting of a Lincoln Police officer on Wednesday.

According to a probable cause affidavit, officers entered a home on Wednesday around 11:30 a.m. at 3225 Vine Street.

Court records show authorities contacted the family of Felipe Vazquez, 17, at the home and received consent to search for the suspect in regards to an outstanding warrant.

That warrant was in connection to the March homicide of Edward Varejcka.

While searching the house, investigators located a locked bedroom and determined Vazquez was inside and behind the locked door.

According to the probable cause affidavit, officers attempted to negotiate a peaceful surrender for 25 minutes until they heard glass shatter.

Investigators said Vazquez and Orion Ross, 19, who was also in the room, escaped through a window and fled east on Vine Street in front of Hartley Elementary.

During that escape, Vazquez fired several rounds toward officers posted along Vine Street in front of the home. One of those bullets struck Luis “Mario” Herrera in the chest. Herrera, a 23-year veteran of the force, was a plainclothes officer and was not wearing a ballistic vest.

Mario Herrera was shot serving a warrant in Lincoln on August 26.
Mario Herrera was shot serving a warrant in Lincoln on August 26.(Lincoln Police)

Herrera remains in critical condition as of Friday morning and is being treated at UNMC in Omaha.

Ross was taken into custody a short time later on the playground of Hartley Elementary. While being taken into custody Ross told officers “If I had a gun, I wouldn’t have stopped,” according to the affidavit.

Vazquez was arrested after he was found hiding in a nearby home.

A black Smith and Wesson .45 caliber handgun was found by police near the scene, according to the affidavit. That gun was determined to be stolen on July 12, 2020 from someone known to Ross.

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