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First and most important, our family would like to express our deepest sorrows to the family of Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic. We are devastated by her loss. She was an excellent police officer, an amazing person, and an inspiration to Tyler and many other officers as a mentor and friend. We miss her, and there will always be a void in our hearts from her loss. We continue to pray for her and her family each day.


From the start of the incident at the Comfort Inn, the responses of the local police departments, fire personnel, and first responders were nothing short of amazing. Removing wounded officers from the scene of an active shooting is exceedingly dangerous, as officers do not know if a shooter may still be present. Many people put their lives on the line to get Tyler and Sgt. Rittmanic out of the building and to the medical care they needed as quickly as possible.


After being removed from the scene of the shooting, Tyler was taken to the emergency room at St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois, where the exemplary emergency staff was able to stabilize Tyler and keep him alive to be transported to the surgical staff at a different hospital. Due to the weather conditions, Tyler could not be transported by helicopter but was instead transported by ambulance. The Illinois State Police District 21 provided an emergency escort for the ambulance carrying Tyler to ensure he got the treatment needed as soon as possible. While enroute to the hospital, officers from local area police departments assisted with the escort. We cannot thank these officers and departments enough for all they did and continue to do. Not a moment has passed without one of these heroes at the side of the family and Tyler.


Tyler underwent an extensive surgery on December 30, lasting most of the day. The tireless surgical staff at the treating hospital were able to greatly enhance Tyler's chances of surviving this critical injury with their incredible skill and dedication.


While we are not able to go into specific details about the severity of Tyler's condition, we can certainly say that without the surgical intervention, Tyler would not have survived the remainder of the day on December 30. After the procedure, we are cautiously optimistic about beginning discussions for Tyler's recovery over the short term, although he is far from out of the woods at this point.


Since the surgery, Tyler has continued to fight for his life. He is stable but remains in very critical condition. Unfortunately, there have been several inaccurate social media rumors regarding Tyler's current condition. Without going into specifics, we can say that he is progressing in a positive manner toward what we hope someday to be a full recovery. It will be a long and difficult battle for Tyler. We are elated with every small step forward as he continues under the care of the hospital staff, who have been nothing short of sensational in their care and accommodations.


Their family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from not only the local police, fire, and first responders, but also personnel from around the State of Illinois, as well as nationwide. These heroes we have mentioned in this release are not just individuals punching a clock each day at work. They are a huge family, and are there for each other under all circumstances, both on the streets and behind the scenes. We can't thank them enough for all they have done.


Tyler's family wishes to express our strongest gratitude to everyone who has had a part in getting Tyler to this point after such a terrible incident. Every helping hand, all of the kind words and prayers, along with the daily supplies and food for the family members who are staying at the hospital and surrounding hotels are greatly appreciated. The immense support and donations to Tyler through various outlets have been incredible.


Thank you all for your support and prayers.  We appreciate your dedication to helping the family maintain their privacy at this time, allowing them to concentrate on the aftermath of this tragedy involving both officers

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Mitch Lewis
Mitch Lewis
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