Officer down: Lincoln Police officer dies almost two weeks after being shot on duty

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LINCOLN, NE – We just lost another officer… after he put up a valiant fight to pull through.

Lincoln Police Officer Luis Mario Herrera was shot while trying to arrest a man who was wanted in a murder investigation.  Herrera fought for almost two weeks but sadly succumbed to his injures on September 7th.

Family of Herrera said:

“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.  Carried 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.”

 The Lincoln Police Department released a statement regarding Herrera’s death.  It said:

“The Lincoln Police Department is devastated by the loss of one of our most outstanding police officers.  Mario was an exceptional investigator, a selfless teammate, and a tireless public servant.

“Empathetic, kind, and utterly committed to serving victims and protecting his community, Mario was an exemplary human being who just happened to be a Lincoln police officer.  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.”

 Colonel John Bolduc, the Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, said:

“Nebraska’s law enforcement family has suffered a tragic loss today.  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.”

The mayor of Lincoln, Leirion Gaylor Baird, also issued a statement:

“Sadness does not begin to describe fully our community’s sense of loss with the passing of Investigator Mario Herrera.  Our hearts are with his wife, Carrie, and their four children, and we remain forever grateful for their family’s profound sacrifice in service to keeping our community safe.”

Herrera had been a member of the Lincoln Police Department for 23 years when he was shot on duty on August 26th.  He was a member of the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force and Gang Unit.

On August 26th, Herrera and other officers were seeking Felipe Vazquez in connection with the stabbing death of a man earlier in the year.  When Herrera was attempting to take him into custody he was shot in the abdomen allegedly by Vazquez. 

Vazquez and Orion Ross both fled the scene on foot after the shooting.  Officers were able to locate them a short time after the shooting had occurred.  Police had initially charged Ross and Vazquez with escape and a judge assigned a million-dollar bond.

Now that Herrera has died as a result of the shooting, the additional charge of second-degree assault of a peace officer for Vazquez will be upgraded to homicide. 

Initial reports were that Herrera was expected to survive, sadly, those reports proved to be inaccurate.  When Herrera’s body was transported from the hospital, escorted by the Omaha Police Department, to the funeral home, groups of supporters could be seen in the area.

Scores of people could be seen standing along the roadways and overpasses through Omaha and Lincoln.  Baird said:

“Lincoln is a city of compassion and kindness, and in the coming days, weeks and months, we will do our best to heal from this grief together.”

 Brian Jackson, the Assistant Police Chief for the Lincoln Police Department spoke of the loss of Herrera:

“Devasted does not begin to describe the gaping hold left in our hearts, our police department and our community.”

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Herrera, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in serving his community.

Got him: Drunk driver charged with multiple offenses in death of Georgia Police Captain

DANIELSVILLE, GA – The Law Enforcement Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has lost a 27-year veteran, at the hands of an intoxicated driver, according to WMAZ News.

Captain Stanley Curtis Elrod was running along Hunt Road in Danielsville, a small town 20 minutes north of Athens, in Madison County.  On Thursday evening, September 3, the 49-year-old captain was struck by a northbound automobile that had crossed over the center line, and the solid line separating the roadway surface from the shoulder of the road. 

Captain Elrod was on the shoulder running southbound when the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt struck him head on, at full speed.  The impact killed him instantly.

Georgia State Patrol Troopers responded to the accident at approximately 7:40 p.m., followed by a medical unit very shortly thereafter.  The Sheriff of Madison County also responded to the call.  The captain was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.

Georgia DNR, headquartered in Atlanta, issued a statement about the tragedy: 

“Georgia Department of Natural Resources is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Captain Stan Elrod, a 28-year veteran of the Law Enforcement Division. Captain Elrod was struck and killed by a motor vehicle the evening of September 3 while on duty and physically training in Danielsville, GA.

“The investigation is ongoing, but preliminary findings by Georgia State Patrol are that the driver of a maroon 2008 Chevy Cobalt failed to maintain his lane while traveling on Hunt Road in Madison County and stuck Captain Elrod near the shoulder.

The driver of the Chevy Cobalt was arrested at the scene and is facing numerous charges to include 1st Degree Vehicular Homicide.

“Elrod was a committed officer and supervisor in the DNR Law Enforcement Division, having risen to the position of region supervisor over the Region 2 office in Gainesville, GA.

He will be remembered for his selfless service and complete devotion to the safety of his fellow officers, fellow Georgians, and his state’s natural resources.

The entire DNR family is beyond grateful to have worked with and known Captain Elrod, as he truly made everyone better through his example. The hearts of the 1,800 members of the DNR family go out to the Elrod family at this time of sorrow.

“‘I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of a dear friend, trusted colleague, and heroic and lifelong DNR officer. Captain Stan Elrod was an exemplary member of the DNR family and he will be profoundly missed for generations to come.

My thoughts, prayers, and support go out to his loving wife Julie and sons Levi and Luke, who are now mourning the loss of a proud husband and father. The entire DNR family is holding up our captain and his family in our collective hearts at this most difficult time,” shares Georgia DNR Commissioner Mark Williams.’”

As the statement mentions, because the captain was physically training to meet fitness requirements as part of his department’s wellness program, he was considered to be on duty at the time of his death.

A 31-year-old Danielsville resident, Arvil E. Hamons, was detained at the scene and taken into custody.  Fox Carolina reported, however, that Hamons was later transported to Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital for treatment of minor injuries sustained in the accident.

Governor Brian Kemp tweeted his thoughts and prayers for the family of a fallen hero:

The Officer Down Memorial Page for Captain Elrod provided further details on the offenses that Hamons has been charged with: which include first degree vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated, failure to maintain lane, reckless driving, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm during a criminal offense.

The one-time State Game Warden of the Year (1999) was Region Supervisor, working out of a Region 2 Office in nearby Gainesville.  He is survived by wife: Julie, and two sons, Levi and Luke.

Captain Michael England, Region Supervisor of the Region 4 Office in Social Circle, was a friend of Captain Elrod. 

He told Online Athens News:

He said he had two years and four months or so to go and he was going to retire… He was president of the Georgia chapter of The Outdoor Dream Foundation, an organization that sponsors hunting, fishing and outdoor activities for children with terminal illnesses.”

 Another good friend in law enforcement, Madison County Sheriff Michael Moore, rushed to the scene when he heard the call. 

He told Online Athens:

“He and I are really good friends. We’ve been fishing a few times and we talked at least once a week.  If I had an issue I could call and ask for an opinion, and if I was having a bad day I could call him and he would ease my temper.”

When Captain Elrod’s body was transported to the State Forensics Lab in Atlanta, Captain Moore accompanied his friend on one last ride.

“I promised his wife I would stay by his side as long as I could.  I’m not leaving him because he wouldn’t have left me.”

The captain’s funeral was held on Tuesday, September 8, at Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa.  His burial took place at Stephens Memorial Gardens, also located in Toccoa.

Whitlock Mortuary posted his obituary on their website:

“Captain Stanley Curtis Elrod, age 49, of Danielsville, GA, formerly of Toccoa, passed away Thursday, September 3, 2020. 

“Born December 1, 1970, he was the son of Julian Perry and Linda Addison Elrod.

“He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church of Danielsville, GA where he served in many capacities.  Stan was a Captain with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources with 28 years of service. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, coaching Little League Baseball and NASCAR. 

“Stan was a board member of the Outdoor Dream Foundation.  He was a cyclist and participated with the Police Unity Tour and was a founding member of the DNR Honor Guard. 

He was awarded the Ranger of the Year in 1999. He proudly served on the security team for the 1996 Olympic Games.  He participated in the security for the G8 Summit and was a proud alumnus of GA Southern University and Columbus State University.

“Stan was an avid music lover and was an accomplished practical joker.  He loved his Lord, his family, his wife and his boys. 

“He wore his badge proudly and supported his DNR family and all law enforcement agencies.  Even though he had an illustrious career, his greatest accomplishment was his boys…”

 

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