Police identify Lincoln officer shot while making arrest

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Lincoln police officer who was shot while attempting to arrest a 17-year-old on an assault charge was identified Thursday as Luis “Mario” Herrera, a criminal investigator who was hospitalized in critical condition.

Authorities said Herrera, a 23-year police veteran, has undergone numerous surgeries and blood transfusions ince being was shot in the abdomen late Wednesday morning while serving an arrest warrant.

Felipe Vazquez, 17, and Orion Ross, 19, both of Lincoln, were charged Thursday with escape stemming from the incident and appeared in court. A judge set each of their bonds at $1 million.

Police haven’t said yet which of them allegedly shot Herrera after they charged through a window when they came to arrest Vazquez on a warrant. Police said both Vazquez and Ross cut their hands from the window glass, but neither were injured during their arrest.

Vazquez was charged with possession of a stolen firearm and was booked into the Lancaster County Youth Services Center initially on allegations of first-degree assault on an officer and use of a firearm to commit a felony.

Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon said additional charges were possible.

Herrera, a plainclothes officer, was shot as he sought to serve an arrest warrant on Vazquez in the March stabbing death of 36-year-old Edward Varejcka. Authorities said they have tied at least three people to Varejcka’s death.

Police said Vazquez and Ross fled from the house, but the two were caught a short time later. Herrera was not wearing a bulletproof vest.