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Strangers pay respects to Officer Rittner at memorial at 47th and Vliet: ‘It’s just a shame’

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MILWAUKEE -- Ahead of memorial services set for Tuesday, Feb. 12 and Wednesday, Feb. 13 for fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner, we learned more about Officer Rittner's impact on members of the community, some who didn't know him at all.

The memorial set up near 47th and Vliet continued to grow on Sunday, Feb. 10, as formal charges were filed against Jordan Fricke, 26, the man prosecutors said shot Officer Rittner as members of MPD's Tactical Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant for the illegal sale of drugs and firearms at a home near 12th and Manitoba Wednesday morning, Feb. 6.

The 35-year-old officer who was a 17-year veteran of MPD died at the hospital. The Marine Corps veteran left behind a wife and young son.

"I think it's just a shame what happened to him," said Edna Burton.

Melissa Ester

FOX6 News spoke with residents who stopped at the memorial Sunday to pay respects to Officer Rittner.

"I look at my son and I can't imagine how his wife must feel, and having that conversation with his son, so I just feel like that's where I connect," said Melissa Ester.

David Fischer said Officer Rittner was a childhood friend.

David Fischer

"We played soccer for, I think, about six years together. I remember him as really good guy," said Fischer.

"It just makes me so sad. I felt like I owe it to him and to the police to know that there are people out there that truly care about them and the sacrifices they make every day," said Ester.

The public visitation and funeral service for Officer Rittner were scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13. Officer Rittner's public visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Oak Creek Assembly of God Church, located at 7311 S. 13th Street in Oak Creek. A service will follow the visitation, and police honors will be conducted outside following the ceremony.

The procession will begin after the police honors from Oak Creek Assembly of God Church to the Krause Funeral Home, located at 21600 W. Capitol Drive in Brookfield.

There will be a private visitation for Officer Rittner on Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 3:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. All Milwaukee Police Department members, Milwaukee Fire Department members and military personnel who wish to attend are welcome. The private visitation will also be held at Oak Creek Assembly of God Church.

"It's just tragic. It's a tragic time that we're living in and I hope there can be change," said Fischer.

"I'm thinking of his wife. They have a young baby. I'm ex-military, so I'm thinking about his brothers from the Marines," said Kate Hughlett.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the police department, and everyone who's been affected by this," said Ester.

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