BRADLEY, Ill. — The family of a downstate police officer killed in the line of duty last year held a vigil in her honor Thursday night.

Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic’s celebration of life took place at 9:30 p.m., 20 minutes before the exact time Rittmanic and her partner, Tyler Bailey, answered the call one year ago on Dec. 29, 2021, at an area Comfort Inn. 

According to police, Rittmanic and Bailey were dispatched to the Comfort Inn Hotel on the 1500 block of Illinois Highway 50 for a call of unattended dogs in the parking lot. Once there, they learned Sullivan had outstanding warrants for his arrest.

A struggle ensued. 

According to prosecutors, Rittmanic was disarmed by the pair and began pleading for her life. According to court documents, she was allegedly shot by 25-year-old Darius Sullivan twice with her service weapon.

Her partner, 27-year-old Officer Tyler Bailey, was shot and critically wounded in the head. After spending time in a rehabilitation center, he was able to go home last month. 

Sullivan and 26-year-old Xandria Harris are charged in connection with the shootings. According to the Kankakee State’s Attorney’s office, seven people have been arrested in connection with the case.