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The Latest: Officer shot during warrant over firearms, drugs

February 7, 2019
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Milwaukee police block the intersection of 12th and Dakota after a Milwaukee Police officer was shot Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, on the city's south side, a law enforcement source said. The incident took place during the execution of a search warrant near the intersection of South 12th and W. Dakota Streets. No information was available about the condition of the injured officer. The shooter is in custody, the source said. Mayor Tom Barrett and Police Chief Alfonso Morales are at the scene. A media briefing is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the scene. A number of streets in the neighborhood have been closed due to the investigation. (Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Latest on a police officer who was shot and killed in Milwaukee (all times local):

11:05 p.m.

Milwaukee police say an officer shot and killed on the city’s south side was part of a unit that was conducting a search warrant on someone wanted for illegally selling firearms and drugs.

Officer Matthew Rittner was a tenured member of the department’s Tactical Enforcement Unit.

Sgt. Sheronda Grant said in a news release Wednesday night that Rittner and the other officers announced themselves as police and that the suspect fired several rounds. Grant said the 35-year-old Rittner was struck by gunfire and taken to a hospital, where he died.

She said a 26-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested. It wasn’t clear Wednesday night whether he has been charged.

Rittner, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, began his career as a police aide in 2001.

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10:05 p.m.

A Milwaukee police officer fatally shot while executing a warrant was part of a team that helped free hostages on two separate occasions in the same month in 2015.

Officer Matthew Rittner and his colleagues confronted a gunman who had tied a man and woman with electrical cords in a basement on Dec. 7, 2015. The gunman had threatened to kill the hostages when police rushed into the basement. The suspect was apprehended and the hostages weren’t harmed.

Then on Dec. 27, 2015, Rittner was part of a team that responded to a hostage situation where a man was holding a woman at gunpoint. The suspect surrendered but officers noticed smoke coming from the home and feared there was a fire. The officers went into the house and found the woman in the bathroom.

The officers received awards for bravery and courage in both cases.

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4:55 p.m.

A procession of police vehicles with lights flashing has accompanied the body of a fallen Milwaukee police officer from a hospital to the coroner’s office.

The officer was shot and killed while trying to serve a warrant on the city’s south side Wednesday morning.

The long line of squad cars left Froedtert Hospital with a hearse on Wednesday afternoon and traveled to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, where an autopsy is planned Thursday.

Authorities say the officer was 35 years old and a 17-year veteran of the force. His name has not been released.

A 26-year-old Milwaukee man is in custody. It’s the third time a Milwaukee officer has died in the line of duty since last June.

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2:10 p.m.

Milwaukee officials say a 17-year police veteran was fatally shot while trying to serve a warrant, becoming the city’s third officer killed in the line of duty in eight months.

Assistant Milwaukee Police Chief Michael Brunson said at a news conference after the shooting Wednesday that the officer was 35 years old. His name has not been released.

He says the officer who died was “well beloved by everyone in the department.”

Brunson says the officer was part of a Tactical Enforcement Unit serving the warrant on the city’s south side when the officers made contact with two subjects “and shots were fired.” One officer was struck and died of his injuries.

Brunson hasn’t released details of the warrant being served.

Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters that the officer “was doing his job” and “working to make our city safe” when he was killed.

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1:15 p.m.

The Milwaukee Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed the death of a Milwaukee police officer who was shot while serving a warrant on the city’s south side.

The medical examiner says the officer was pronounced dead after being rushed to Froedtert Hospital following the shooting in a residential neighborhood late Wednesday morning. Details about the shooting haven’t been released.

Numerous officers have gathered at the hospital. Milwaukee police planned a procession from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office downtown.

The officer’s death comes six months after another Milwaukee officer, Michael Michalski, was fatally shot while trying to arrest a convicted felon wanted on drug and domestic violence offenses.

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12:25 p.m.

There is a growing police presence at a Milwaukee hospital where an officer was taken following a shooting on the city’s south side.

Officers from the Milwaukee Police Department and other suburban agencies gathered at Froedtert hospital where the officer was taken following a shooting about 9 a.m. in a residential neighborhood.

The Journal Sentinel reports the officer was shot while executing a search warrant and that one person is in custody. There’s no immediate word from police on the condition of the officer.

After the officer was conveyed to the hospital, officers gathered in a circle at the scene and bowed their heads. A briefing is scheduled for 1:30 at the hospital.

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