Former Police Officer Honored for Civilian Heroism

Former police officer Virgil Patlan was honored Thursday for his heroic acts to help stop a shooter over the summer.

It was back in June that a gunman went on a shooting spree killing two, and critically injuring two others.

Retired officer Virgil Patlan followed the suspect and helped stop him. The police department honored Patlan Thursday morning at the southeast precinct.

Everyone relived the event by listening to the 911 recordings. Afterward, the Omaha Police Chief awarded Patlan with a plaque for his heroic efforts and the mayor joined in commending Patlan for his actions.

Patlan says even years after retiring from the force, he couldn't have let the suspect just get away.

“You can't just let a guy shoot somebody and get away with it,” he said. “And my only thought the whole time was I'm just going to keep an eye on him until the police get there.”

Patlan retired from the police department in 2007. He now works security for the mayor's office.

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