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Suspect charged in fatal shooting of Milwaukee officer

Published
Jordan P. Fricke appears in intake court and is charged in the murder of Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Milwaukee. A court commissioner found probable cause to hold Fricke for further proceedings. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A man who was charged Sunday with killing a Milwaukee officer during a drug raid on his home told investigators that he didn't realize it was police trying to break down his door, authorities said.

Jordan P. Fricke, 26, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and other crimes in the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Officer Matthew Rittner, who was part of a tactical unit trying to serve a warrant to search the home for illegal drugs and weapons on Wednesday morning.

According to the criminal complaint, police announced their presence several times and said they had a search warrant, and an officer yelled "police" right before Fricke fired four rounds through a hole in the door that Rittner had made with a battering ram. Rittner died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Fricke was in bed with his girlfriend when they were awakened by loud noise and yelling. He told investigators that he never heard anyone yell "search warrant." He said he thought he heard someone say "police" but didn't think it was actually the police trying to break into his home, the complaint states.

Fricke's girlfriend said she saw him shoot at the kitchen door and that she knew police were at the door because she heard them identify themselves, according to the complaint.

A $1 million cash bond was set Sunday for Fricke, who remained in jail. A court commissioner found probable cause to hold Fricke for further proceedings, and a preliminary hearing was set for Thursday.

Fricke's attorney, Michael L. Chernin, declined comment.

Rittner, a 17-year veteran of the force, was the third Milwaukee officer killed in the line of duty in eight months. The department had previously gone more than two decades without such a death.

Rittner's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at Oak Creek Assembly of God Church in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee police officers watch proceedings as Jordan P. Fricke appears in intake court and is charged in the murder of Officer Matthew Rittner, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Milwaukee. A court commissioner found probable cause to hold Fricke for further proceedings. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
This undated image provided by the Milwaukee County Jail shows Jordan Fricke. On Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, Fricke was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and other crimes in the fatal shooting Wednesday of Officer Matthew Rittner, who was serving a search warrant. (Milwaukee County Jail via AP)
Milwaukee Police cars are stationed in a neighborhood where Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner was killed in Milwaukee on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Police are collecting evidence at a Milwaukee home where the police officer was fatally shot while serving a warrant. Investigators say 35-year-old Officer Rittner was killed Wednesday as members of Milwaukee's Tactical Enforcement Unit served the warrant on someone suspected of illegally selling firearms and drugs. (Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
Timothy Nelson, of Oak Creek, Wis., places small flags in a bouquet near a squad car adorned with flowers as a memorial for fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner at the Neighborhood Task Force police building in Milwaukee on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.  Police are collecting evidence at a Milwaukee home where a police officer was fatally shot while serving a warrant. Investigators say 35-year-old Officer Matthew Rittner was killed Wednesday as members of Milwaukee's Tactical Enforcement Unit served the warrant on someone suspected of illegally selling firearms and drugs. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
Timothy Nelson, of Oak Creek, Wis., places small flags in a bouquet near a squad car adorned with flowers as a memorial for fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner at the Neighborhood Task Force police building in Milwaukee on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.  Police are collecting evidence at a Milwaukee home where a police officer was fatally shot while serving a warrant. Investigators say 35-year-old Officer Matthew Rittner was killed Wednesday as members of Milwaukee's Tactical Enforcement Unit served the warrant on someone suspected of illegally selling firearms and drugs. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
Timothy Nelson, of Oak Creek, Wis., places small flags in a bouquet near a squad car adorned with flowers as a memorial for fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner at the Neighborhood Task Force police building in Milwaukee on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Police are collecting evidence at a Milwaukee home where a police officer was fatally shot while serving a warrant. Investigators say 35-year-old Officer Matthew Rittner was killed Wednesday as members of Milwaukee's Tactical Enforcement Unit served the warrant on someone suspected of illegally selling firearms and drugs. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
This undated image provided by the Milwaukee County Jail shows Jordan Fricke. On Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, Fricke was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and other crimes in the fatal shooting Wednesday of Officer Matthew Rittner, who was serving a search warrant. (Milwaukee County Jail via AP)
This undated image provided by the Milwaukee County Jail shows Jordan Fricke. On Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, Fricke was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and other crimes in the fatal shooting Wednesday of Officer Matthew Rittner, who was serving a search warrant. (Milwaukee County Jail via AP)
Milwaukee Police cars are stationed in a neighborhood where Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner was killed in Milwaukee on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Police are collecting evidence at a Milwaukee home where the police officer was fatally shot while serving a warrant. Investigators say 35-year-old Officer Rittner was killed Wednesday as members of Milwaukee's Tactical Enforcement Unit served the warrant on someone suspected of illegally selling firearms and drugs. (Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
Milwaukee Police cars are stationed in a neighborhood where Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner was killed in Milwaukee on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Police are collecting evidence at a Milwaukee home where the police officer was fatally shot while serving a warrant. Investigators say 35-year-old Officer Rittner was killed Wednesday as members of Milwaukee's Tactical Enforcement Unit served the warrant on someone suspected of illegally selling firearms and drugs. (Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
Milwaukee police officers watch proceedings as Jordan P. Fricke appears in intake court and is charged in the murder of Officer Matthew Rittner, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Milwaukee. A court commissioner found probable cause to hold Fricke for further proceedings. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
Milwaukee police officers watch proceedings as Jordan P. Fricke appears in intake court and is charged in the murder of Officer Matthew Rittner, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Milwaukee. A court commissioner found probable cause to hold Fricke for further proceedings. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
Jordan P. Fricke appears in intake court and is charged in the murder of Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Milwaukee. A court commissioner found probable cause to hold Fricke for further proceedings. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
Jordan P. Fricke appears in intake court and is charged in the murder of Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Milwaukee. A court commissioner found probable cause to hold Fricke for further proceedings. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)