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‘Thoughts and prayers:’ Law enforcement express condolences in support of MPD officer killed

Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner

MILWAUKEE — Officials with law enforcement agencies across southeast Wisconsin are sharing an outpouring of support after Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner, 35, a 17-year veteran of the department, was shot near 12th and Manitoba on Wednesday, Feb. 6. He later died at the hospital.

Below are statements from officials, organizations and other law enforcement who have shared their condolences:

Joint statement from Milwaukee Common Council

“As members of the Common Council we know well the sacrifices and the daily dedicated service of the men and women of the Milwaukee Police Department. Today we are deeply saddened to learn of the on-duty death of one of our fine officers – killed this morning by a suspect while attempting to serve a warrant on the city’s South Side.

“We offer our heartfelt sympathies to the officer’s family and to each and every member of the Milwaukee Police Department family. We grieve for our fallen officer, killed while working for all of us, and while serving our entire city with selflessness and courage.

“The coming days will be difficult and we will stand as one to honor our fallen officer who showed such devotion to the City of Milwaukee. We will now also stand with all of the MPD officers and band together to offer our full support during this time of mourning.

“We will urge the wider Milwaukee community to join with us in honoring the memory of our fallen officer while continuing to support one another during this painful and difficult time.”

Alderman Tony Zielinski

“The sad and tragic news that a Milwaukee Police officer has been shot and killed in the line of duty this morning while attempting to serve a warrant in the 14th District has me shaken and stunned. I am praying for the officer’s loved ones and friends as they comfort each other during this incredibly difficult time. As a community I urge that we offer privacy and comfort to the family at this time.

The loss of our officer is felt deeply by me and by citizens who see the daily sacrifices of the men and women who have sworn to protect and serve this community. I fully recognize their sacrifice and the sacrifices made by their families, and I offer my full support during this time of mourning.”

Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office

“The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office mourns the passing of a friend, comrade and member of our law enforcement family. May a star guide our friend home to heavenly rest and let the angels encamp themselves around our family, friends and loved ones to be a comfort to all during this difficult period.”

Attorney General Josh Kaul

“I join all of Wisconsin in mourning the loss of one of our brave law enforcement officers. Those who put on the uniform every day put their safety at risk to protect others and to save lives.

DOJ continues to assist with this investigation and the Law Enforcement Death Response Team is supporting the Milwaukee Police Department.”

Senator Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg

“I join my fellow Wisconsinites in mourning the loss of a Milwaukee Police Officer in the line of duty.  Wisconsinites must remember and honor the commitment police officers make each day to keep our communities safe.”

Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin

“I was extremely saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner, who was killed yesterday in the line of duty. I would like to offer my deepest condolences and prayers to Officer Rittner’s family and fellow police officers in this difficult time. Officer Rittner spent 17 years in service to the Milwaukee Police Department and was also a highly-decorated U.S. Marine, having served two combat tours in Iraq. He was a true hero in every sense of the word. The loss of Officer Rittner is heartbreaking news for the Milwaukee area and for our nation.

“The work of the brave men and women who choose to risk their lives in order to protect our communities is always dangerous and demanding. They deserve our support and to have available all the resources that they need to do their jobs safely.”

Senator LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee

“Today my heart, thoughts and prayers are with the Milwaukee Police Department as they mourn the loss of one of their own, for the third time in less than a year. Members of the Department called the loss ‘tragic and impactful’ and described the 17-year veteran of the agency as being ‘loved by all.’

Very few of us are willing to risk our lives to ensure a safer community, but this officer made the ultimate sacrifice to uphold his oath to protect and serve. Please pray for the families of our fallen officers and the men and women who are dedicated to keeping us safe.”

Rep. Ken Skowronski, R-Franklin

“Today, we join many in mourning the life of a true American Hero. Officer Matthew Rittner was not only a dedicated 17 year member of The Milwaukee Police Department he was also a decorated Marine, serving multiple tours in Iraq. Officer Rittner always placed his community and county first. We as a community are made better by these men and women who dedicate their lives in the service of others. I join Wisconsinites in thanking Officer Rittner for his dedication to the people of Wisconsin. My continued thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, family and colleagues.”

St. Sen. Duey Stroebel

“I join my fellow Wisconsinites in mourning the loss of a Milwaukee Police Officer in the line of duty.  Wisconsinites must remember and honor the commitment police officers make each day to keep our communities safe.”

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