BRADLEY, Ill. - A 23-year-old Kankakee man was arrested on Thursday for allegedly supplying the gun used to kill a Bradley police sergeant and critically wound her partner last year at a suburban hotel.
Jaron M. Shannon has been charged with unlawful sale of a firearm, unlawful purchase of a firearm, and failure to maintain records of a firearm sale.
On Dec. 29, 2021, Bradley Police Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic and Officer Tyler Bailey responded to the Comfort Inn Hotel in Bradley regarding barking dogs that were left in a vehicle.
When Officer Bailey arrived at the scene around 9:56 p.m., he ran the plates of the suspect vehicle, which registered to Xandria Harris, prosecutors said.
Officer Bailey then entered the hotel lobby where he met with Sgt. Rittmanic. Bailey then asked a hotel clerk if there were any rooms under Xandria Harris or Darius Sullivan, as Bailey had knowledge that Xandria was usually in the presence of Sullivan.
Bailey also knew Sullivan was wanted on outstanding warrants of arrests for failure to appear in court, prosecutors said.
Officer Bailey was also allegedly aware at the time that Sullivan had previously fled from officers who attempted to apprehend him on the warrants.
Sgt. Rittmanic and Officer Bailey were given the room where Xandria and Sullivan were staying. Prosecutors said the officers proceeded up the stairs to the third floor, where they had the intention to issue a local ordinance violation for the dogs being left in the vehicle and to take Sullivan into custody on the warrants.
At 10:13 p.m., officers knocked the first time and did not receive a response.
Officers knocked a second time at 10:14 p.m., and Officer Bailey announced their presence and explained that Xandria needed to leave the room and address the complaint regarding the dogs, prosecutors said.
Xandria allegedly responded "yes," and indicated she would be leaving the room.
At 10:17 p.m., Bailey knocked a third time and asked Xandria, "Are you coming ma'am?" Xandria then allegedly responded, "Yes, I have to get dressed." At that time, Officer Bailey insisted that she left the room to address the complaint. Xandria said she would be right there.
Officer Bailey then knocked a fourth time at 10:23 p.m., to which Xandria allegedly responded with "OK, I'm coming." Officer Bailey then asked who else Xandria was with in the room, to which Xandria responded with, "Me, my sister and kids."
Officer Bailey then knocked a fifth time at 10:25 p.m., and Xandria responded again that she was coming to the door.
After 14 minutes, Xandria allegedly opened the door, and attempted to squeeze past the door and close it to prevent officers from taking Sullivan, who was in the room, into custody.
Both Sgt. Rittmanic and Officer Bailey asked Xandria to stop blocking the doorway. Sullivan then allegedly came from around the corner in the hotel room holding a 9mm equipped with a drum clip.
As Xandria continued to prevent the officers from opening the door, Sullivan allegedly pointed the firearm at Officer Bailey and shot him in the head. Sullivan then allegedly fired a first shot at Sgt. Rittmanic as she attempted to flee the kill zone, prosecutors said.
Sullivan then allegedly chased Sgt. Rittmanic down the hallway of the hotel and pinned her up against a door.
At that time, Sullivan's firearm jammed, and he was attempting to unjam his firearm using his hand and mouth, while also attempting to disarm Sgt. Rittmanic of her weapon with his other hand.
As Sullivan and Sgt. Rittmanic were struggling, Xandria walked down the hallway of the hotel, and Sullivan allegedly told Xandria to "cock the gun, cock the gun" in regards to his jammed firearm.
Xandria allegedly reached around the waist of Sullivan, and assisted him in attempting to cock the firearm and/or disarm Sgt. Rittmanic, prosecutors said.
Once Xandria and Sullivan disarmed Sgt. Rittmanic, they stood over her as she was on the floor.
Xandria stood over Sgt. Rittmanic while holding Sullivan's firearm. Sullivan then allegedly told Xandria to give him the keys. As she handed over the keys, Sullivan allegedly fired two shots from what is believed to be Sgt. Rittmanic's duty weapon, striking her in the throat and neck.
"At the time Sullivan fired the fatal shots into Sgt. Rittmanic, Sgt. Rittmanic was pleading with them to just leave, 'you don't have to do this, please just go, please don't please don't.' She was desperately pleading for her life," said Kankakee County State's Attorney Jim Rowe in court.
Xandria then allegedly told Sullivan to leave, and he fled down the stairwell of the hotel and left.
Xandria allegedly returned to the hotel to grab her belongings and her two children and fled the hotel separately from Sullivan.
Sullivan and Xandria have been denied bail.
On Friday, Shannon appeared in court and was issued a bond of $500,000.
"Earlier today we charged Jaron Shannon as a ‘straw-purchaser’ of no fewer than 2 firearms and with unlawfully transferring no fewer than 10 firearms. We know all too well the consequences of firearms falling into the hands of those who should not possess them; in fact, many of the firearms purchased by Jaron Shannon have been used by others in the commission of a crime, including a juvenile offender. One of the firearms is alleged to have been used in the murder of Bradley Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic and attempt murder of Bradley Police Officer Tyler Bailey. I thank the Illinois State Police for continuing to pursue every lead and every offender connected to those tragic events. Shannon is the 8th defendant now charged with a connection to that crime," Kankakee County State's Attorney Jim Rowe said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Xavier Harris was arrested for two counts of obstructing justice and two counts of concealing or aiding a fugitive in connection to the shooting. He was issued a bond of $75,000.
Both Shannon and Xavier are jailed at the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee.
Illinois State Police encourages anyone with information on this crime to call them at 815-698-2315, or Crime Stoppers at 815-93-CRIME. Callers can remain anonymous.