On the run: $27K reward offered to apprehend man who shot, killed off-duty Racine officer

Data pix.

John Hetland

RACINE -- With the Racine community reeling over the loss of one of their heroes in blue, a manhunt continued Wednesday, June 19 for the man who shot and killed off-duty Racine Police Officer John Hetland as he intervened during an armed robbery at Teezers bar near 20th Street and Lathrop Avenue on Monday night.

"I don't think there's anyone who knew John Hetland who didn't respect him and didn't enjoy being around him," said Jim Palmer, executive director for the Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA).

Officer Hetland, a 24-year veteran of the department, also served as a board member on the WPPA.

"Anyone who knows John Hetland is not surprised by the actions he took," said Palmer.

Although he was off the clock, Officer Hetland was never really 'off-duty.'

"He jumped over the bar and fought with this person and ultimately gave his life to protect the other people in Racine," said Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.

The hero left behind two children and countless loved ones -- who are pleading for answers, as the gunman is still at large.

Suspect in fatal shooting of off-duty Racine Police Officer John Hetland

"The evidence was all taken to the State Crime Lab," Sheriff Beth said.

Sheriff Beth said the department began receiving tips right away.

"We've had probably hundreds of them that we're following up on, and they've not stopped," Beth said.

A tip, no matter how small, could help solve the case.

Body of fallen Officer John Hetland departs medical examiner's office

Sheriff Beth said multiple rewards are being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter, including $20,000 from the FBI, $5,000 from a private Racine business -- Andis Company, and $2,000 from Crime Stoppers of Racine County -- for a total of $27,000.

"I feel extremely confident we'll be capturing this person, and it's just a matter of time," Sheriff Beth said.

If you have any information regarding the identity of this person, or any information regarding this crime, officials asked that you please contact Crime Stoppers at 888-636-9330262-656-7333 or (800) 807-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous.

A fundraising account in support of Officer Hetland was created by the Racine Police Department. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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