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Hero Down: Bradley Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic Murdered By Gunman

Bradley, IL – Bradley Police Department (BPD) Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic was murdered in the line of duty Wednesday night while responding to a report of barking dogs in an unattended vehicle, according to police.

The 49-year-old sergeant and a second BPD officer were dispatched to the Comfort Inn on Illinois 50 at approximately 9:41 p.m. on Dec. 29 after they received a call about dogs barking inside a vehicle parked in the hotel parking lot, the Daily Journal reported.

They located the unattended vehicle, then headed to the hotel room where the dogs’ owner was believed to be staying.

They were trying to speak with the owner when someone inside the hotel room opened fire on them, hitting both officers, the Daily Journal reported.

The wounded officers were transported to local hospitals, where Sgt. Rittmanic was pronounced dead, according to police.

The second wounded officer was in critical condition as of early Thursday morning and was undergoing surgery, according to WLS.

The second officer’s identity has not been released.

Police are still searching for the alleged gunman, who has been identified as 25-year-old Darius Sullivan, the Daily Journal reported.

A warrant has been issued for Sullivan’s arrest.

Police warned that Sullivan should be considered armed and dangerous and that he should not be confronted, WLS reported.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to the apprehension of the accused killer.

Officers are also searching for a second person of interest believed to be involved in the attack, according to the Daily Journal.

That person’s identity has not been released.

A police procession escorted the Sgt. Rittmanic’s body from Riverside Medical Center to the Kankakee County morgue at approximately 4 a.m. Dec. 30.

Flags at Bradley Village Hall were lowered to half-staff shortly thereafter, the Daily Journal reported.

“This is a very sad and tragic day for the Bradley village family,” Bradley Mayor Mike Watson told the paper. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the family members of all involved.”

A second police procession will escort the slain sergeant’s body from the Bryan R. Mitchell Forensic Center to the Clancy-Gernon Funeral Home in Bourbonnais Thursday afternoon, the Kankakee County Coroner’s Office said in a Facebook post.

“Please continue to keep Sergeant Rittmanic, the other injured Bradley Police Officer, their families, and all Kankakee County public safety agencies in your thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time,” the post read.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Bradley Police Department Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic, your life mattered.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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