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Felipe Vazquez sentenced to 70 years to life in Officer Mario Herrera's death

Posted at 7:57 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 20:57:07-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)  — A Lincoln man was sentenced to 70 years to life in prison Wednesday for the shooting death of a police officer in 2020.

Felipe Vazquez, now 19, shot Officer Mario Herrera when he tried to escape from police who were serving an arrest warrant for him at his Lincoln home. Vazquez was wanted in the stabbing death of 36-year-old Edward Varejcka months earlier.

Vazquez was sentenced to another 59 to 86 years for attempted assault on a second officer, escape and four gun charges, the Lincoln Star reported. He will not be eligible for parole for about 70 years.

Vazquez was convicted in March.

Herrera, a 23-year-veteran of the Lincoln police department, was shot as Vasquez and another man jumped out of window and fired at officers in an effort to escape.

Herrera, who was wearing plain clothes and had no bulletproof vest, was at the scene, in part, as a translator. He was struck in the torso and underwent several surgeries before dying on Sept. 7, 2020.

He was the first Lincoln police officer killed in the line of duty in more than 50 years.

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