OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The Lincoln Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its own.
Investigator Mario Herrera passed away early Monday after being shot while on duty late last month.
Herrera was a highly decorated member of the Lincoln Police Department and leaves behind his wife and four children. He served on the force since 1997.
Police say 17-year-old Felipe Vazquez shot Herrera in the torso when they tried to serve an arrest warrant on a second degree assault charge on August 26. Police say Herrera was in plain clothes and did not have a ballistic vest on at the time of the shooting.
Police said on Tuesday that Vazquez is expected face an additional charge of first degree murder.
Herrera was the fourth Lincoln police officer shot to be killed by gunfire and the first since 1967.
Herrera is remembered as a selfless teammate and a tireless public servant. Prior to his law enforcement career, he served in the U.S. Army and worked for the Nebraska Stat Patrol.
“Susanne and I were devastated to learn of the passing of Investigator Mario Herrera,” said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. “Investigator Herrera’s service and sacrifice will never be forgotten. I also want to thank people across the state who stepped up to support the Herrera family in the midst of this terrible tragedy. From holding prayer vigils to donating blood, the community’s response was powerful and inspiring. Now more than ever, it is critical for all of us to come together and support the men and women who put on the uniform and risk their lives every day to help keep our communities safe.”
Ricketts has ordered flags to fly at half-staff to honor Herrera's passing. Flags will fly at half-staff until sunset on September 11.
The Nebraska State Patrol also reacted to Herrera's death.
“Nebraska’s law enforcement family has suffered a tragic loss today,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “We send our deepest condolences to Investigator Herrera’s family and friends, along with the entire Lincoln Police Department and all who had the privilege of knowing him. Our troopers were honored to work beside Mario, and will forever remember his service and sacrifice.”
LINCOLN MAYOR GAYLOR BAIRD ISSUES PROCLAMATION FOR PERIOD OF MOURNING TO HONOR OFFICER HERRERA
Whereas, Lincoln Police Department Investigator Luis “Mario” Herrera began working for LPD in 1997, after serving in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves and as a Carrier Enforcement Officer for the Nebraska State Patrol; and
Whereas, after being injured in the line of duty August 26, 2020, and fighting for his life for 12 days, Investigator Herrera passed away from his injuries September 7, 2020; and
Whereas, Investigator Herrera received extraordinary medical care from Lincoln Fire and Rescue, Bryan Health and the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha; and
Whereas, the people of the City of Lincoln, the State of Nebraska, and the nation have wrapped their arms around the Herrera family and the LPD family by sending prayers and messages of love and support and by giving blood and donations in his honor; and
Whereas, Investigator Herrera will be remembered not just for his public service, but also for his kindness, his faith and his love for his wife and four children; and
Whereas, the City of Lincoln pledges that Investigator Herrera’s heroism and dedication to our community will always be remembered,
Now, therefore, I, Leirion Gaylor Baird, Mayor of the City of Lincoln, Nebraska, do hereby proclaim September 8 through 11, 2020 as a Period of Mourning to honor the bravery, service and sacrifice of Investigator Mario Herrera and to express our condolences to his family, friends, coworkers and all those whose lives were touched by his remarkable life of public service.