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Illinois police seek two in killing of one cop, wounding of second

BRADLEY, ILLINOIS (AP) – Authorities were searching on 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 Sergeant 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.

The Comfort Inn, where two Bradley Police officers were shot. PHOTO: AP

Mayor Mike Watson of Bradley, a village of roughly 16,000 people about 80 kilometres 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.

“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 department spokesman Lieutenant Philip Trudeau. She previously spent seven years as a deputy with the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department, he said.