Law enforcement instructor devastated after officer’s murder

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WAUWATOSA -- With the investigation into the murder of 30-year-old Wauwatosa Police Officer Jennifer Sebena ongoing, law enforcement officials continued to grieve on Christmas Day. As investigators followed up on multiple leads, FOX6 News spoke with a law enforcement instructor who knew Sebena while she was in school. 

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.

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.

Brian Dorow, Waukesha County Technical College Dean of Criminal Justice described Sebena as a rising star in law enforcement. He says she could have had her choice of departments, but chose to serve in Wauwatosa.

"The incident in itself is unconscionable. She was just an amazing, amazing young lady. It doesn't matter when this thing happens. Christmas compounds it, but this is beyond comprehension," Dorow said.

Dorow and his instructors taught Sebena for two years. He described her as a student who was excited about a second career in law enforcement. Sebena served on Dorow's Student Advisory Committee and was one of the best performers in her year.

Dorow says her professors are devastated.

"She made a very lasting impression on them, and they are hurting right now," Dorow said.

Also hurting are members of departments across southeastern Wisconsin. Many sent resources to downtown Wauwatosa on Christmas Eve to help secure the crime scene. Some expressed their heartfelt sympathies online. 

Greenfield police, West Allis police and Milwaukee police all took to Twitter.

The Greenfield police tweet reads: "Our thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters of the Wauwatosa Police Department."

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).

Related stories: