Inv. Herrera passes following two-week battle

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — ‘Please pray right now.’ Posted on Investigator Mario Herrera’s CaringBridge page, his loved one’s expressed Sunday ‘how gravely ill Mario is right now.’ The next day, Inv. Herrera would succumb to his injuries after a ‘valiant fight’.

This comes after a two-week-long battle, Inv. Herrera passed away around 3:30 a.m. while at the University of Nebraska Medicinal Center (UNMC). The Lincoln Police Department (LPD) released a statement that “despite skilled and determined medical care, as well as the thoughts, prayers, and support of his family, friends and community, he succumbed to his injuries.”

His loved ones posted this message on CaringBridge.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to pass on devastating news to all of you.  At approximately 3:30 this morning, Mario died.  Carrie and his 4 amazing children were able to be with him.  I am at a loss for words as we try to process this.  Please pray for Carrie, his kids and our entire family.”

While I slept, this man took his last breath. It’s a tragedy, for everyone. He served us all with dignity, honor, class,…

Posted by Cameron Craig on Monday, September 7, 2020

According to LPD, Inv. Herrera was ‘a highly decorated 23-year veteran’ who is survived by his wife and four children.

His injury was due to a gunshot wound sustained when attempting to serve a warrant for second-degree assault to a suspect the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 27 at a residence near 33rd and Vine Streets. The suspect was later identified as 17-year-old Felipe Vazquez. The warrant being served was also in relation to the March homicide of Edward Varejcka.

After contacting Vazquez and another resident, identified as 19-year-old Orion Ross, at the home, Inv. Herrera negotiated with them for half an hour before the suspects jumped out of a window. Both Vazquez and Ross sustained cuts to their hands when exiting the broken window.

Rest In Peace. Mario Herrera #1205. End of Watch. 9/7/20. We will take it from here.

Posted by Marty Fehringer on Monday, September 7, 2020

Sherrif Terry Wagner said at this time Vasquez fired three shots from a semi-automatic pistol at officers, striking Herrera.

 

Herrera was in plainclothes at the time and was not wearing protective gear. He was taken to the hospital where he underwent multiple surgeries and blood transfusions. He remained in critical condition during his entire stay at the hospital.

This morning I had the honor of lowering the flag at the SE Team Station to pay tribute to our fallen brother Inv. Mario Herrera #1205. Rest easy brother.

Posted by Todd Groves on Monday, September 7, 2020

Both individuals were quickly located and taken into custody. Vazquez is believed to be the suspect who shot Hererra.

Officer Cole Jennings, who was involved in the shooting, has been placed on administrative leave. Jennings, an 11-year-veteran, returned fire after Herrera was shot.

An investigation is being done by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office (LSO) to determine if the use of force was lawful.

LPD stated that Inv. Herrera ‘was an exceptional investigator, a selfless teammate, and a tireless public servant. Empathetic, kind, and utterly committed to serving victims and protecting his community… Investigator Herrera paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep us all safe. Lincoln police officers will be draping their badges to honor his sacrifice and memory.”

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