“That is extremely powerful:” Hundreds attend vigil in honor of fallen MPD Officer Matthew Rittner

NOW: “That is extremely powerful:” Hundreds attend vigil in honor of fallen MPD Officer Matthew Rittner

Updated: 9:24 p.m. on February 8, 2019

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – An emotional vigil was held Friday night for the Milwaukee community following the death of Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner.

Hundreds filled the auditorium at Zablocki Elementary School to mourn the loss. Community members, leaders and Rittner’s family were in attendance.

“That is extremely powerful for our officers to see there’s support by the City of Milwaukee,” MPD Chief Alfonso Morales said.

Some of the attendees didn’t know Rittner but wanted to pay their respects and show support for the police department.

“They put their life on the line every day,” Attendee Kristen Ramirez said. “You don’t sign up to do that, you sign up to make the world a better place and this is what happens.”

Rittner’s fellow Marines were also in the crowd. The group got a standing ovation when they were recognized.

“How much will I be missing him?” Matt Zarling asked. “I can’t even think of a way to describe that because it’s a hole that can never be filled.

During the vigil, Mayor Tom Barrett spoke directly to Rittner’s family.

“These are people who loved your husband, who are here for you during this difficult time,” he said.

People of all ages attended the vigil. One father brought his young daughter. 

"I was sad that he died and lost his life," the young girl, Brooklyn Kohel said. "The cop was trying to save the world and the bad guy shot him." 

Officers from Rittner’s District 6 told the community they’re thankful for the coffee, hugs and well wishes they’ve been getting.


Posted: 10:47 a.m. on February 8, 2019

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee is remembering fallen police officer Matthew Rittner who lost his life while trying to protect the community. 

"They put their lives out there and when someone loses their life for us that hurts," Alderman Tony Zielinski said. "We feel terrible. This is the sacrifice this person took to make us safe and I think that's part of our healing process as well."

Officer Rittner was shot and killed while trying to serve a search warrant on Wednesday morning. Since then, there's been an outpouring of support from the community. 

A community vigil is being planned for 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Zablocki Elementary School auditorium. 

You can watch the vigil here:

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