Wednesday marks five years since Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco was fatally shot while she and other Omaha police officers were trying to stop a fugitive gang member. The man fired multiple times at police, and one of the bullets hit Orozco just above her protective vest.

The day she was killed was her last scheduled day of work before she was to start maternity leave to care for her 3-month-old daughter, Olivia Ruth, who had been hospitalized after being born prematurely.

In her seven years with the department, she was a top-notch detective, a caring colleague and a mentor to youth, especially during her time on the gang unit. She coached baseball teams with Police Athletics for Community Engagement, an organization that provides free leagues for Omaha youths.

Orozco's husband, Hector Orozco, donated the family horse to the mounted patrol unit. After more than a year of training, the horse, now named Orozco, was introduced in November 2018 as the newest member of the unit.

Last year, a new baseball field at Miller Park was named in honor of Orozco. 

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Legislation would speed the naturalization process for spouses, children and parents of first-responders killed in the line of duty; the Kerrie Orozco Act is named for the Omaha police officer who was fatally shot in May; her husband, Hector Orozco, has been waiting to receive his green card.

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Kids, parents, grandparents, law officers, prominent Nebraskans and Iowans, community members who never met the fallen Omaha police officer — even the New York Yankees — salute and honor Orozco as she is laid to rest.

Hundreds of family members, friends and colleagues in blue attended Orozco’s funeral at St. John’s Catholic Church at Creighton University. A funeral procession to her final resting place in Council Bluffs followed.

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Maybe this time, shaken by the horror of a police officer shot and killed in the line of duty, of a new mother taken from her 3-month-old baby and her family, of a dedicated volunteer forever stopped from helping kids from poor families, maybe this time the entire community unites.

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Donations for Kerrie Orozco’s family came from all over the country Thursday afternoon at a rate of one or two per minute, the Omaha Police Foundation reported. The money came in so fast that the foundation’s administrator had trouble keeping up. The most up-to-date figure available was $75,000 by 10 a.m. Thursday, but the total is expected to reach six figures.

Kerrie Orozco, 29, was killed Wednesday after gunfire erupted when she and other officers tried to arrest Marcus D. Wheeler, on a felony warrant for first-degree assault, in the Florence area about 1 p.m. Wheeler was also fatally wounded. Police plan a 4:30 p.m. press conference to provide more information.

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