Bradley officer pleaded for her life before suspect allegedly fatally shot her with her own gun: prosecutors

A Bradley police sergeant was pleading for her life just moments before she was fatally shot with her own service weapon by a gunman in a hotel last week, prosecutors said.

On Dec. 29, 2021, Bradley Police Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic and Officer Tyler Bailey responded to the Comfort Inn Hotel in Bradley regarding barking dogs that were left in a vehicle.

When Officer Bailey arrived at the scene around 9:56 p.m., he ran the plates of the suspect vehicle, which registered to Xandria Harris, prosecutors said. 

Officer Bailey then entered the hotel lobby where he met with Sgt. Rittmanic. Bailey then asked a hotel clerk if there were any rooms under Harris or Darius Sullivan, as Bailey had knowledge that Harris was usually in the presence of Sullivan.

Bailey also knew Sullivan was wanted on outstanding warrants of arrests for failure to appear in court, prosecutors said.

Officer Bailey was also allegedly aware at the time that Sullivan had previously fled from officers who attempted to apprehend him on the warrants.

Sgt. Rittmanic and Officer Bailey were given the room where Harris and Sullivan were staying. Prosecutors said the officers proceeded up the stairs to the third floor, where they had the intention to issue a local ordinance violation for the dogs being left in the vehicle and to take Sullivan into custody on the warrants.

At 10:13 p.m., officers knocked the first time and did not receive a response.

Officers knocked a second time at 10:14 p.m., and Officer Bailey announced their presence and explained that Harris needed to leave the room and address the complaint regarding the dogs, prosecutors said.

Harris allegedly responded "yes," and indicated she would be leaving the room.

At 10:17 p.m., Bailey knocked a third time and asked Harris, "Are you coming ma'am?" Harris then allegedly responded, "Yes, I have to get dressed." At that time, Officer Bailey insisted that she left the room to address the complaint. Harris said she would be right there.

Officer Bailey then knocked a fourth time at 10:23 p.m., to which Harris allegedly responded with "OK, I'm coming." Officer Bailey then asked who else Harris was with in the room, to which Harris responded with, "Me, my sister and kids."

Officer Bailey then knocked a fifth time at 10:25 p.m., and Harris responded again that she was coming to the door.

After 14 minutes, Harris allegedly opened the door, and attempted to squeeze past the door and close it to prevent officers from taking Sullivan, who was in the room, into custody.

Both Sgt. Rittmanic and Officer Bailey asked Harris to stop blocking the doorway. Sullivan then allegedly came from around the corner in the hotel room holding a 9mm equipped with a drum clip.

As Harris continued to prevent the officers from opening the door, Sullivan allegedly pointed the firearm at Officer Bailey and shot him in the head. Sullivan then allegedly fired a first shot at Sgt. Rittmanic as she attempted to flee the kill zone, prosecutors said.

Sullivan then allegedly chased Sgt. Rittmanic down the hallway of the hotel and pinned her up against a door.


At that time, Sullivan's firearm jammed, and he was attempting to unjam his firearm using his hand and mouth, while also attempting to disarm Sgt. Rittmanic of her weapon with his other hand.

As Sullivan and Sgt. Rittmanic were struggling, Harris walked down the hallway of the hotel, and Sullivan allegedly told Harris to "cock the gun, cock the gun" in regards to his jammed firearm.

Harris allegedly reached around the waist of Sullivan, and assisted him in attempting to cock the firearm and/or disarm Sgt. Rittmanic, prosecutors said.

Once Harris and Sullivan disarmed Sgt. Rittmanic, they stood over her as she was on the floor. 

Harris stood over Sgt. Rittmanic while holding Sullivan's firearm. Sullivan then allegedly told Harris to give him the keys. As she handed over the keys, Sullivan allegedly fired two shots from what is believed to be Sgt. Rittmanic's duty weapon, striking her in the throat and neck.

"At the time Sullivan fired the fatal shots into Sgt. Rittmanic, Sgt. Rittmanic was pleading with them to just leave, 'you don't have to do this, please just go, please don't please don't.' She was desperately pleading for her life," said Kankakee County State's Attorney Jim Rowe in court.

Harris then allegedly told Sullivan to leave, and he fled down the stairwell of the hotel and left.

Harris allegedly returned to the hotel to grab her belongings and her two children and fled the hotel separately from Sullivan.

Kankakee County State's Attorney Jim Rowe submitted a request to the United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois and to the United States Attorney General on Monday to review the first degree murder cases pending against Sullivan and Harris for federal murder charges and to pursue a federal sentence of death against both defendants.