BRADLEY, Ill. — Following the death of Bradley police sergeant Marlene Rittmanic and the shooting of Officer Tyler Bailey in the line of duty, a prayer vigil for her ultimate sacrifice and his recovery was held Monday night.
Gathering 44 miles away from Bradley at St. Cajetan Catholic Church in the city’s Morgan Park neighborhood, the location is a bastion for law enforcement who call it home.
The nation’s largest law enforcement union, the Fraternal Order of Police, reported 2021 as the deadliest year on record of cops being shot, with Illinois second only to Texas. On Monday, the Bailey family and loved ones of first responders gathered in support of officers.
Attendee Maggie Mahoney told WGN News she chose to partake in Monday night’s vigil to “show our support for law enforcement everywhere, especially for Officer Bailey, and to honor Officer Rittmanic.”
Officer Bailey has had two surgeries since being ambushed in a hotel in Bradley several weeks ago.
Bailey’s chief said surgeries saved the wounded officer’s life but a long road to recovery remains. Bailey continues his recovery at nearby Christ Advocate Hospital in Oak Lawn.
Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th Ward) helped organize Monday’s vigil.
“I think the message we are trying to send is that our community appreciates their service,” O’Shea said. “Officer Bailey and his family are in our prayers, and we continue to pray that he makes a full recovery. And to let his colleagues in the Bradley Police Department and all law enforcement know that we appreciate them, we care about them, and we got their back.”
Bailey’s family has expressed thanks for the tremendous show of support.
Two people remain in jail, facing charges of murder and attempted murder in connection to the shooting.
A GoFundMe established for Officer Bailey has raised nearly $130,000 of the $150,000 goal.