Prosecutor: Illinois Police Sgt. ‘Was Desperately Pleading for Her Life’ When She Was Fatally Shot

Illinois police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic
Bradley Police Department

Prosecutors say Bradley, Illinois, police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic was “desperately pleading for her life” when she was allegedly shot and killed last week by Darius Sullivan, 25, with the help of his girlfriend at the time, Xandria Harris, 26.

Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe is pursuing life sentences for both Sullivan and Harris at the state level and has requested the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to file federal murder charges against the defendants and pursue the death penalty, per a release.

Rowe said Rittmanic’s bodycam captured the whole incident, per ABC 7.

Rittmanic and her partner, Officer Tyler Bailey, responded to a noise complaint of barking dogs at the Comfort Inn hotel on North State Highway 50 in Bradley, Illinois, at approximately 9:56 p.m. on December 30, said Rowe at Harris’s bond hearing on Monday, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

While investigating the complaint, Officer Bailey learned that the vehicle was Harris’s, Rowe said. Bailey understood Harris to be an associate of Darius Sullivan, who was wanted for failing to appear for court and fleeing Bradley officers, the prosecutor explained.

ABC 7 reports that Sullivan and Harris were boyfriend and girlfriend at the time.

Rowe stated that Bailey and Rittmanic met in the hotel’s lobby and asked a hotel worker if “Darius Sullivan” or “Xandria Harris” had booked a room, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The prosecutor said Sullivan had booked room 308 and the worker directed Rittmanic and Bailey to the room. The pair knocked on the door at around 10:13 p.m. to no response. They waited a moment and knocked again, as Bailey loudly declared, “this is the police department,” and requested that Harris exit the room so that they could question her regarding the noise complaint, Rowe said. Harris responded by saying, “yes,” according to Rowe, and indicated that she would exit the room.

After 15 minutes of the officers knocking and Harris allegedly repeatedly stating she would come out of the room, she finally tried to slip out of the door and close it in an alleged attempt to prevent the officers from apprehending Sullivan, Rowe said, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

The officers allegedly told Harris a number of times to stop blocking the doorway. After some time, Sullivan “came around the corner in the hotel room armed with a 9mm handgun equipped with a drum clip, prosecutors say,” per the Chicago Sun-Times.

Rowe says that Sullivan shot Bailey in the head while the officers struggled with Harris, and then he turned his attention towards Rittmanic and shot her as she attempted to get away from the gunman.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Sullivan allegedly chased Rittmanic down the hallway before pinning her against a door. Sullivan struggled to unjam his gun using his right hand and mouth while also trying to disarm Rittmanic with his left hand, Rowe said.

As the scuffle ensued, Sullivan called out to Harris, telling her to “cock the gun, cock the gun,” prosecutors said. Harris joined Sullivan, helping him successfully disarm Rittmanic.

The two then stood over Rittmanic pointing guns at her as she laid on the floor, already shot once, Rowe said. She begged Sullivan not to shoot her.

“Sgt. Rittmanic was pleading with them to, ‘Just leave, you don’t have to do this, please just go, please don’t, please don’t,’” Rowe said, per the Sun-Times. “She was desperately pleading for her life.”

While Harris held Sullivan’s firearm, Sullivan allegedly shot Rittmanic twice in the neck area using the sergeant’s weapon, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Rowe said that immediately following the shooting, Harris told her boyfriend, “you have to go,” and the 25-year-old took off down a flight of stairs and then fled in a vehicle. Harris allegedly went into the room, collected her belongings and two children, who were present for the ordeal, and left the scene, per the Sun-Times. 

Rittmanic later died of her injuries after being transported to a local hospital, and Bailey remained “fighting for his life” in the hospital on Monday, the prosecutor said per the Chicago Sun-Times.

Authorities searched for the two for roughly 36 hours, Breitbart News previously reported. The U.S. Marshall Service arrested Sullivan on Friday morning outside of a North Manchester, Indiana, residence.

Later that day, Harris turned herself in while accompanied by her lawyer.

“Harris is charged with three counts of first-degree murder for Bradley police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic and one count of attempted murder of Officer Tyler Bailey,” ABC 7 reports.

Sullivan remains in the custody of Indiana law enforcement and is fighting extradition to Illinois, per ABC 7. Prosecutors are working to obtain a Governor’s Warrant to bring him back across state lines.

Following her hearing Monday, Harris was denied bond.

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