Illinois police seek 2 in killing of 1 cop, wounding of 2nd

Dec 30, 2021, 7:49 AM | Updated: 6:48 pm

BRADLEY, Ill. (AP) — Authorities were searching Thursday for two people believed to have been involved in the fatal shooting of one police officer and wounding of another at a northern Illinois hotel.

The two Bradley police officers were shot late Wednesday while speaking to people in a room at a Comfort Inn along a highway in Kankakee County, the county sheriff’s office said.

The officers were taken to nearby hospitals, where one died and the other was listed in critical condition and undergoing surgery, said the Bradley Police Department. The county coroner identified the slain officer as Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic, 49.

Illinois State Police identified the other as Officer Tyler J. Bailey, 27.

An arrest warrant was issued for 25-year-old Darius D. Sullivan of Bourbonnais, and the sheriff’s office posted a Facebook request for the public’s help in finding him, saying he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police also obtained a Kankakee County arrest warrant for Xandria A. Harris, 26 of Bradley, but her role in the shootings wasn’t clear.

The police department said in its news release that it was also searching for what it described as a person of interest believed to have been involved, though it didn’t release any identifying information about that person.

The officers were at the hotel to investigate a report of dogs that were barking in an unattended vehicle in the parking lot, the sheriff’s office said. They found the room where the vehicle’s possible owner was staying and were shot while talking to the people in that room, it said.

Mike Watson, the mayor Bradley, a village of roughly 16,000 people about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Chicago, said the wounded officer had been transferred to a Chicago-area hospital, the (Kankakee) Daily Journal reported.

Rittmanic’s body was transported early Thursday in a police procession from the Riverside Medical Center to the Kankakee County morgue, and officials later lowered the flag at Bradley Village Hall to half-staff. A procession from the morgue to a funeral home in nearby Bourbonnais was planned for Thursday afternoon.

“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,” Watson said.

Rittmanic, who lived in Kankakee, joined the Bradley Police Department in 2007 and was promoted to sergeant in 2014, said Lt. Philip Trudeau, a department spokesman. She previously spent seven years as a deputy with the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department, he said.

A $10,000 reward was being offered for information leading to Sullivan’s arrest, WLS-TV reported.

The hotel shootings came hours after a sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot while responding to a motorist assist call on a highway near Mill Shoals, which is in southeastern Illinois and roughly 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of Bradley.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Sean Riley responded to that call at around 5 a.m. Wednesday. He was found dead by a second officer who later arrived at the scene, and the deputy’s squad car was later found abandoned on I-64, police said. Authorities arrested a Kentucky man suspected in that attack and a carjacking in Missouri.

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Illinois police seek 2 in killing of 1 cop, wounding of 2nd