Prosecutors said the gunman charged with killing an Illinois police cop last week used his own gun to police in a fatal shooting after he ignored his pleas to save his life.
The Kankakee County State Attorney is now pushing for the death penalty for the alleged shooter and an accomplice in the December 29 hotel shooting, which left Bradley Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmann dead and her fellow officer Tyler Bailey seriously injured.
Darius Sullivan, 25, is accused of using his gun to shoot Bailey in the head outside a room at the Comfort Inn, then fired at Ritmanick, who was killed but tried to escape.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, during a court appearance, prosecutors said Sullivan chased Ritmanick down a hall, then disarmed him.
Kankakee County State Attorney Jim Rowe said his friend Zandrea Harris, 26, joined in to help get Rittmanick’s gun, then the pair stood over the injured cop.
“Sergeant Rittmann was pleading with him, ‘Just leave, you don’t have to do this, please just go, please don’t, please don’t,'” Rowe said in court on Monday, according to the Sun-Times. “She was begging desperately for her life.”
The newspaper reported that Sullivan fired two more shots from Rittmann’s gun. According to the Associated Press, the incident was captured on the constable’s body camera. Reportedly, two of Harris’ children were inside the hotel room at all times.
Officers were called to the hotel after complaints of dogs barking in an abandoned car in Harris’s parking lot. According to the report, when they saw Harris and Sullivan in a hotel room, no one opened the door for 14 minutes.
The Sun-Times said that Harris eventually emerged, but blocked the door in an attempt to protect Sullivan, who later emerged and shot Bailey while Harris clashed with police. Sullivan fled, but Harris went back to the room to pick up his belongings before leaving. The two were later arrested and charged with multiple charges of first degree murder and attempt to murder.
Prosecutor Rowe is now calling on the US Justice Department to pursue a federal murder case with death sentences for both Harris and Sullivan. Illinois is not a state with the death penalty, but Rowe said in a statement that the U.S. Attorney General may authorize a petition in the case.
“Our state attorney’s office will now work to ensure that these criminals face the strictest justice permitted by the law, no matter what jurisdiction, and to ensure that the full weight of the criminal justice system be brought upon them and anyone who assists them,” he said in a news release.
Nickel Newton-Carroll and Jalmaine Sullivan, Sullivan’s mother and brother, were also arrested in the case. Rowe said the two are accused of lying to officers and helping Sullivan escape to Indiana in an attempt to evade arrest.
post with wires