Sus­pect charged in fa­tal shoot­ing of Mil­wau­kee of­fi­cer

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - Nation & World -

MIL­WAU­KEE — A man who was charged Sun­day with killing a Mil­wau­kee of­fi­cer dur­ing a drug raid on his home told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he didn’t re­al­ize it was po­lice try­ing to break down his door, au­thor­i­ties said.

Jor­dan P. Fricke, 26, is charged with first-de­gree in­ten­tional homi­cide and other crimes in the fa­tal shoot­ing of 35-year-old Of­fi­cer Matthew Rit­tner, who was part of a tac­ti­cal unit try­ing to serve a war­rant to search the home for il­le­gal drugs and weapons Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, po­lice an­nounced their pres­ence sev­eral times and said they had a search war­rant, and an of­fi­cer yelled “po­lice” right be­fore Fricke fired four rounds through a hole in the door that Rit­tner had made with a bat­ter­ing ram. Rit­tner died of a gun­shot wound to the chest.

Fricke was in bed with his girl­friend when they were awak­ened by loud noise and yelling. He told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he never heard any­one yell “search war­rant.” He said he thought he heard some­one say “po­lice” but didn’t think it was ac­tu­ally the po­lice try­ing to break into his home, the com­plaint states.

Fricke’s girl­friend said she saw him shoot at the kitchen door and that she knew po­lice were at the door be­cause she heard them iden­tify them­selves, ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint. Fricke, who also faces reck­less en­dan­ger­ment and drug charges, re­mained jailed on Sun­day with pre­lim­i­nary bail set at $500,000. Court records do not list an at­tor­ney who could speak for him.

Rit­tner, a 17-year vet­eran, was the third Mil­wau­kee of­fi­cer killed in the line of duty in eight months. The depart­ment had gone more than two decades with­out such a death.

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