Bradley police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic and her partner responded to a call Wednesday night of dogs barking in an unattended car in the parking lot of the Comfort Inn off Route 50, the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office said. They went to the hotel room where the car owner was staying when police say the people inside the room started attacking the two officers and shooting them.
Rittmanic, 49, was killed and her partner, 27-year-old Tyler Bailey, was badly injured. Bailey was transported to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, where he underwent surgery for serious head injuries and remained in very critical condition Thursday.
The sheriff’s office is now offering a $ 25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of 25-year-old Darius D. Sullivan of Bourbonnais.
Sullivan should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be confronted, police said.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Sullivan and 26-year-old Xandria Harris, according to Illinois State Police.
Call the Illinois State Police Hotline at 815-698-2315. Tipers can also remain anonymous by calling this number or CrimeStoppers on (815) 93-CRIME.
“Please keep the officers, their families and the Bradley Police Department in your thoughts and prayers,” the sheriff’s office said.
The incident appeared to have been isolated and police believe there is no further threat to the community.
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Friends and members of the local community mourned the loss as local residents hung blue ribbons and signs around the city, thanking the sergeant for her victims.
“Just to remember the best cop ever with Bradley PD,” Jacqueline Jackson said with a homemade sign.
Hundreds of people lined up in silence to honor Rittmanic during a procession from the forensic pathologist’s office to a Bourbonnais funeral home Thursday afternoon.
“We never think much about these guys running around and taking care of us before it happens, but I’m just happy to see the turnout and the support,” said Doug Brown, who came to show his respect.
“The people who are here to protect us have been taken from us … and that’s just not true,” Carol Chapman added.
Rittmanic first became an officer in 2000 with the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department. She had been in the Bradley Police Department for 14 years and her niece said she was only five years away from retirement. She leaves behind her wife, Lynette Stau.
Kankakee Mayor Chris Curtis posted a statement about the incident on Facebook, saying:
Our hearts are heavy and filled with grief over our neighboring town and their police department. On behalf of the city of Kankakee, we offer our prayers to the family, friends, and colleagues of the fallen Bradley Police Officer. We are also constantly asking for the recovery of the other Bradley officer.
“In this difficult time for our region, we ask God to provide the healing and comfort needed for our communities, all the law enforcement brothers and sisters and the first to respond to this difficult time.
“As Mayor of the City of Kankakee, I promise all our support and assistance in any way that the Village of Bradley may need or request.”
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