KANKAKEE COUNTY - A police sergeant was killed, and another officer was critically wounded while investigating a noise complaint at a hotel in south suburban Bradley Wednesday night.
Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic of Kankakee, Ill. was killed in the line of duty. She was 49-years-old.
Illinois State Police are now searching for two people in connection to this incident.
Darius Sullivan, 25, of Bourbonnais, Ill. is considered to be armed and dangerous. A $25,000 reward has been posted for information leading to his arrest. He has a lengthy criminal record, and currently has multiple open cases in Kankakee County ranging from burglary to battery.
A warrant has also been issued for 26-year-old Xandria Harris of Bradley, Ill.
Around 9:41 p.m. Wednesday, Sgt. Rittmanic was responding to a Comfort Inn located in the 1500 block of North State Highway 50 for the report of dogs barking in an unattended vehicle.
Rittmanic and her partner, Officer Tyler Bailey were talking with the possible owner of the car in a hotel room, when police say the people in that room attacked and fired at the officers.
Rittmanic was killed. Bailey, who is 27 years old, was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
"The senseless harm and killing of two more Illinois police officers bring great sorrow to our agency and to the family, friends, and brothers and sisters of the Bradley Police Department," stated ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. "The Illinois State Police will use every resource at its disposal to ensure the individuals responsible are brought to justice."
Thursday afternoon, a long line of flashing lights could be seen for several blocks in Bradley during a procession honoring Rittmanic’s life and service to the community.
"It's just a somber feeling, it's kind of indescribable to see everybody come out and go through this tragedy," said Kim Nicholas, community member. "It's a hard life to live, wondering every day if your person is going to come home. It's… it's really tough."
Rittmanic – who served with the Bradley Police Department for 14 years, and the Iroquois County Sheriff's Department for seven years before that – was just five years from retirement.
"The crazy thing is they’d probably have to kick her out, she loved her job so much," said Ashlee Johnson, Rittmanic's niece. "She wasn’t that type of person that wanted to pull you over to give you a ticket, unless she felt it was absolutely the only thing she had to do, but she wasn’t that kind of cop. She always aimed to be a cop to make a difference."
Ritmmanic's niece called her the "backbone" of their family.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker, in a Facebook post Thursday wrote, in part: "Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic and Officer Tyler J. Bailey are the definition of heroes. They showed unwavering courage and the willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect all of us. It’s a sacrifice no one should have to make."
If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Sullivan or Harris, or any information regarding this incident, please call the ISP at 815-698-2672 or Crime Stoppers at 815-93-CRIME. Callers can remain anonymous.