MILWAUKEE -- A memorial created for fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner is bringing visitors from all over. A squad car is parking outside of MPD Specialized Patrol Division near 47th and Vliet. It is draped in a flag with many leaving flowers on the squad in Rittner's honor.
"I decided to bring two dozen donuts and coffee," said Aisha Fernando. He's not only protected our city but defended our country. And a hero like that should not have gone down the way he did."
Officer Rittner joins two others who died in the line of duty.
"Three in less than a year, something has to change," said Sawsan Qadadah, from Cudahy.
Sawsan Qadadah watched, knowing what gunfire can take away.
"I lost my dad so it really really sucks, nothing can replace a parent," said Qadadah.
Parents, colleagues, some who didn't know him, watched and paused.
"Doesn't matter what your background is, when you lose someone in the community like that, it hits everyone," said Qadadah.
Flags flying lower in his honor, and Milwaukee's City Hall dressed in heavy blue
"There's more good people than bad in this world," Qadadah said. "Even though this is a sad occasion it reminds us we`re all standing together because we share something in common -- we're all heartbroken."
Heartbroken but still doing their jobs.
"I'm with them and I back the blue always and forever," said Fernando.
Rittner left behind a wife and young son. He was 35 years old, and a 17-year member of the department.
It's the third such loss for the Milwaukee Police Department in eight months -- after a 22-year stretch with no deaths in the line of duty.
Chief Morales said Officer Rittner began his career as a police aide in 2001 and was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. The chief said the officer was a beloved member of MPD, and received a number of medals and awards.
FOX6 News learned Officer Rittner served at least six years in the Marine Corps Reserves as an infantry rifleman. He deployed to Iraq twice.