LPD identifies officer shot in Wednesday’s standoff

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Thursday at 3:30 p.m., the Lincoln Police Department (LPD) held a press conference concerning Wednesday’s standoff.

The incident began around 11:30 a.m., when LPD Officer Mario Herrera, a 23-year-veteran, with the criminal investigations unit attempted to serve a warrant to 17-year-old Felipe Vazquez for second-degree assault. The warrant was also related to the March homicide of Edward Varejcka.

Officer Herrera located Vazquez at a residence near 33rd and Vine streets. There he contacted and negotiated with the suspect for about a half-hour when Vazquez and another resident, identified as 19-year-old Orion Ross, jumped out of the window.

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 remains in critical condition.

During the press briefing, Chief Jeff Bliemeister stated that Herrera is “still fighting for his life… Our department, our community stands with Mario”.

Both Vazquez and Ross sustained cuts to their hands when exiting the broken window. Both individuals were quickly located and taken into custody. They are charged with escape, but further charges may be brought following the investigation.

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.


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