The killing of an Emporia native by a Nebraska Highway Patrol trooper was under investigation Thursday morning.
German “Pe-Wee” Pedraza, 27, received a memorial rosary service Wednesday night. He was shot while he sat in a car outside a Lincoln, Nebraska apartment building on Wednesday, Nov. 24. Pedraza died last Sunday.
An online obituary says Pedraza was born in Emporia Wednesday, July 20, 1994 to Miguel Pedraza and Leticia Leon. The family eventually moved to Columbus, Nebraska, where he attended public schools. No relatives are shown to live in Kansas.
The Lincoln Journal-Star reports officers found Pedraza in a car while conducting a drug investigation.
Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner said Pedraza appeared to pull out a gun and was told to put it down. Eventually a struggle occurred, ending with the unnamed trooper shooting Pedraza in the neck.
Investigators say they found a loaded pistol in Pedraza’s car. KLKN-TV reports the vehicle also had 24.3 grams of marijuana and three grams of some other suspected narcotics.
A woman in the car with Pedraza was not hurt. She was released after being detained.
Pedraza had a nine-year-old daughter The mother, Jasmine Cruz, told the Lincoln newspaper that he cared about the girl.
“He loved buying her a whole bunch of shoes to have a collection like he did,” Cruz said. “Ayvah always remembered him just dancing around when she would see him and just try to make her laugh.”
Cruz added that their daughter was taking the loss the hardest.
“She starts crying a lot more at night,” she said. “During the day, she stays busy enough to not think about him.”
Under Nebraska law, a decision about charges in Pedraza’s death will be up to a grand jury.
Pedraza will be buried in Mexico at a later date.