Two Men Help Police Catch Killer


Dozens prayed for peace at a South Omaha vigil Monday night. A random shooting spree injured three men -- two of them died. Two neighbors talked about how they helped police catch the suspected killer.

"Tunnel vision sets in," said retired Omaha police officer Virgil Patlan. "The only thing I'm thinking is I can't let the guy get away. I cant."

Patlan heard the shots from his porch and saw the shooter walk by Saturday afternoon. "My only goal was to keep an eye on him. As I go to take left, I see a guy I recognize. He's on the phone -- which I imagine was to 911."

That's Phil Lordemann. He lives down the block from Patlan. He, too, was after the killer near 34th and F.

"So I chased him down the bridge," said Lordemann, "Yelling everything I could at him -- and he just kept running. I called 911 and told them that I needed an ambulance."

"He says, 'Virg -- down there,'" said Virgil.

"I told Virgil he turned the corner on Dahlman and you've got to get him. Got to get him," said Phil.

The two men helped officer walker track down the shooter.

"The guy did not hesitate and shot at the cruiser," said Patlan.

Two days later -- they were grateful to have prevented it from getting worse. They also recognize what was already lost.

Victim Tony Vazzano, 25, was working in Phil Lordemann's yard. He was five minutes away from finishing the yard and having a beer with him.

"He was here mowing," said Phil, "And I hurt myself last week and he said, 'I'll help you Uncle Phil.' So he was. Always willing to help. Always willing to help."

What still strikes friends about Tony Vazzano's character is that in his last moments on the ground -- he was still helping.

"Even though he was choking on his own blood," said friend Grace Sears, "He was giving them a description of who shot him. That was Tony."

Phil Lordemann clutched a cross with Tony's name at the vigil -- knowing none of this will ever make any sense.

The gunman has not yet been identified. Witnesses say he didn't seem drunk or high -- but had a blank look on his face.

Mayor Jean Stothert attended the vigil. She said this only strengthens her pledge to form a "faith and community" task force -- creating a place where young people can become engaged with opportunities and alternatives to violence. "The men killed and injured Saturday were victims of senseless violence. They were doing the same Saturday chores that many of us were doing."

Angel Cabrera, 45 -- who was washing his truck when he was shot -- was in critical condition.

Pascual Bautista-Raymundo, 25 -- who was shot as he took out the trash -- died.

All three were shot in a two block area Saturday afternoon.


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