Investigation ongoing in murder of Wauwatosa Officer Jennifer Sebena

WAUWATOSA — On Christmas Day, Wauwatosa police officials and the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation continued to investigate the murder of Officer Jennifer Sebena.

30-year-old Sebena was found dead near Underwood and Harmonee in downtown Wauwatosa early Monday morning, December 24th. Officials say Officer Sebena died after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds.

“I’ve been informed that several shots were fired at her, and she was struck several times, and passed away from those wounds. There are no suspects at this time. Our hearts are really heavy. You just can’t believe something like this occurs,” Wauwatosa Police Lt. Gerald Witkowski said on Monday.

Sebena, in her second year on the force, was patrolling alone overnight. When she didn’t respond to calls for service, her fellow officers searched for her. 

Police will not say exactly where Sebena was located, but police tape and officers with weapons visible surrounded the area around the downtown Wauwatosa firehouse.

Bruce Klainot lives nearby. He woke up Monday to officers holding high-powered rifles on his street.

“They came to our door twice yesterday to interview us and also tell us we will probably see people walking around the back yard and we may also be going through your garbage,” Klainot said.

Lt. Witkowski says there are no witnesses, and Sebena never called for help. Police said Tuesday they are following up on multiple leads.

“This is just an unbelievable act that has touched everyone at the department, especially at this time,” Lt. Witkowski said.

Lt. Witkowski says Officer Sebena graduated from MATC’s Police Academcy and began working with the Wauwatosa Police Department. Lt. Witkowski says Officer Sebena was married and describes her as a great person and officer.

In a 2010 YouTube video, Sebena’s husband Ben was interviewed for a presentation for the Elmbrook Church in Brookfield. Ben Sebena, a former Marine who was nearly killed in Iraq, spoke about his issues with PTSD and how he fell in love with Jen — a girl he had gone to high school with.

“I came back to Wisconsin and started spending more time with Jen. Our love flourished. We became absolutely infatuated with each other,” Ben Sebena says in the video.

This is the first time in the Wauwatosa Police Department’s 96-year history they have lost an officer on-duty.

The flag in front of the police department is flying at half staff in Sebena’s honor.

Authorities are urging anyone with information to contact the Wauwatosa Police Department’s Tip Line at 414-771-TOSA (8672).

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