Mur­der sus­pect: I didn’t know it was po­lice of­fi­cer

The Columbus Dispatch - - Nation&world -

A man who was charged Sun­day with killing a Mil­wau­kee po­lice 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 Matthew Rit­tner, a 17-year veteran of the force who was part of a tac­ti­cal unit try­ing to serve a war­rant to search the home for il­le­gal drugs and weapons on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

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

A $1 mil­lion cash bond was set Sun­day for Fricke, who re­mained in jail. A pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing was set for Thurs­day. Rit­tner’s fu­neral is sched­uled for Wed­nes­day in Oak Creek, Wis­con­sin. Wal­ter B. Jones Jr. of North Carolina, a on­ce­fer­vent sup­porter of the 2003 in­va­sion of Iraq who later be­came an out­spo­ken Repub­li­can critic of the war, died on his birth­day at age 76, the con­gress­man's of­fice con­firmed in a state­ment.

Jones, whose health had de­clined in re­cent months, en­tered hos­pice care in Jan­uary af­ter break­ing his hip. He had been granted a leave of ab­sence from Congress in late 2018. He had served in the House since 1995 and had al­ready an­nounced his 2018 cam­paign would be his last.

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