BRADLEY, IL – A barking dog complaint at a local hotel left one officer dead and another fighting for their life. Police have identified who they allege is the shooter and the manhunt has begun.
ILLINOIS STATE POLICE INVESTIGATE MURDER OF BRADLEY POLICE OFFICER
— IllinoisStatePolice (@ILStatePolice) December 31, 2021
For the second time in less than a week, a police officer in the state of Illinois has been shot and killed in the line of duty.
On December 29th, officers with the Bradley Police Department responded to the Comfort Inn on North State Highway 50 after someone reported a dog barking in an unoccupied vehicle.
Upon their arrival, Bradley Police Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic and Officer Tyler Bailey were told the room of the people who owned the car.
Sergeants Rittmanic and Bailey knocked on the hotel room door and engaged in some type of conversation with the occupants.
At some point during the conversation, Bradley Police allege that the occupants in the room attacked the two officers.
One person, who police identify as Darius Sullivan, allegedly shot both officers, leaving them in grave danger. After the shooting, Sullivan and a woman, Xandria Harris, fled the area hotel to evade capture.
Both officers were transferred to a nearby hospital to be treated for their injuries. Sadly, Sergeant Rittmanic succumbed to her injuries while Bradley underwent surgery and was last listed in critical condition.
Bradley Police Department turned the murder investigation over to the Illinois State Police who announced they obtained arrest warrants for both Sullivan and Harris.
Illinois State Police warn that Sullivan should be considered armed and dangerous and are urging anyone with information to call immediately. At this time, a $25,000 reward has been offered to anyone who is able to assist officers in arresting Sullivan.
Ashlee Johnson, Sergeant Rittmanic’s niece, spoke about the person the fallen hero was to friends and family. Johnson said that Rittmanic was enthusiastic about being a police officer and working to better her community.
We mourn with our fellow colleagues the deaths of 2 Illinois police officers. Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy Sean Riley and Bradley Police Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic were both shot and killed in the line of duty. Our thoughts are with their families, friends, and communities. pic.twitter.com/ngkGD94vrf
— Evanston, IL Police (@EvanstonPD) December 30, 2021
Johnson also spoke about how much Rittmanic meant to her family and referred to her as the “backbone.” She said:
“She always found a way to figure out everything for everybody and make everybody’s life easier. She always made sure that we celebrated life.”
Rittmanic started her career in law enforcement in 2000 as a deputy with the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Office. In 2007, Rittmanic started her career in Bradley where she worked her way up to the rank of sergeant. Rittmanic leaves behind friends, family members, and her wife.
Bradley Mayor Mike Watson commented on the tragic incident. He said:
“This is a very sad and tragic day for the Bradley Village family. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family members of all involved.”
Chris Curtis, the Kankakee Mayor, issued a statement on the loss of Sergeant Rittmanic:
“Our hearts are heavy and filled with sorrow for our neighboring City and their police department. On behalf of the City of Kankakee we offer our prayers to the family, friends and coworkers of the fallen Bradley police officer. We also provide continuous prayer for the recovery of the other Bradley officer.
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) December 30, 2021
“In this difficult time for our region we ask God to provide healing and comfort needed for our communities, all the law enforcement brothers and sisters and the first responders at this difficult time.”.
Sergeant Rittmanic is the second law enforcement officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty in Illinois in less than a week.
Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley was shot and killed after he stopped to help a motorist along I-64 on December 29th. A suspect, in that case, has been apprehended by the Illinois State Police.
According to the Navigator, at approximately 5 am the morning of Wednesday, December 29, a Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a motorist assist call at the 115 mile marker of Illinois Interstate Highway 64.
The Navigator reports that the motorist, and suspect, shot the deputy shortly after he called in the license plate of the vehicle.
The suspect then fled in the deputy’s patrol vehicle.
The deputy was pronounced dead at the scene.
After notification of next of kin, the fallen officer was identified as Deputy Sean Riley.
Following the shooting, closures of I-64 caused considerable backup as a manhunt was underway for the suspect.
Meanwhile, the fallen deputy’s body was transported to the coroner’s office with assistance from the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and the Evansville Police Department.
Deputy Riley’s patrol car was found abandoned, leading police to believe that his alleged killer fled on foot.
The suspect is also believed to have next committed a carjacking and shooting at a gas station in St. Peters, Missouri.
WEVV reports that that carjacking occurred approximately two hours after Deputy Riley was shot and killed.
The St. Peters Police Department told WEVV that “evidence at the scene of the gas station carjacking linked the suspect… to the shooting in Illinois.”
According to a Facebook post from the St. Peters Police Department, the suspect carjacked and shot a victim at a Missouri QuikTrip, and then fled the scene.
The victim survived and was transported to a local hospital with “non life threatening injuries.”
St. Peters PD added:
“Suspect is described as a white male, last seen wearing a light gray hoodie, backpack, and black shoes (possible Under Armor shoes). He should be considered ARMED AND DANGEROUS.”
According to WEVV, police also reported that the car that the suspect stole from the gas station was found abandoned, and the suspect may now be driving a third vehicle, described as a white Nissan Titan with Missouri license plate OWE A43.
This is a developing story. Please continue to follow Law Enforcement Today for updates on this tragic and volatile situation.
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