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Wis. Flags Flying at Half-Staff for Fallen Officer

Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner was killed in the line of duty Wednesday. Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner was killed in the line of duty Wednesday. |  Photo: Milwaukee Police Department

Created: February 07, 2019 04:41 PM

Gov. Tony Evers has ordered that state and federal flags in Wisconsin be flown at half-staff to honor a Milwaukee police officer killed in the line of duty this week.

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Officer Matthew Rittner was shot and killed while executing a search warrant on Wednesday.  Police say the target of the warrant was wanted for illegal firearm and drug sales.  A 26-year-old man was arrested and is in jail pending formal charges.

Officer Rittner, age 35, began his career as a police aide in 2001 and was also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.  He leaves behind a wife and a young child.

"Kathy and I send our thoughts and sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Officer Matthew Rittner, the entire Milwaukee Police Department, and the people of Milwaukee as they mourn this tragedy," Governor Evers said in a news release. "This loss is also a reminder that men and women like Matthew put their lives on the line every day to protect our citizens and communities in Wisconsin. We are grateful for their bravery and call to service."

Evers' order to fly flags half-staff is effective immediately and will be in place until sunset on the date Rittner is buried.

Rittner is the third Milwaukee police officer to die in the line of duty in the past eight months.  It had previously been more than two decades since an officer had been killed.

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