Milwaukee police officer shot and killed Tuesday is the fifth line of duty death in the city since 2018

  • In US
  • 2023-02-08 00:00:06Z
  • By Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The fatal shooting of a 37-year-old Milwaukee police officer early Tuesday while responding to a robbery suspect on the city's south side is the fifth line of duty death since 2018.

Here's a list of Milwaukee officers who have died on duty during this time.

Peter Jerving

Peter Jerving was shot and killed while responding to a robbery after 1 a.m. Feb. 7, 2023.

Jerving was 37 years old with four years of experience on the force.

Officers were responding to the area of the 2700 block of South 14th Street to check for a man wanted in connection with a robbery that occurred at 11:25 a.m. Monday in the 3600 block of West Good Hope Road.

A foot pursuit took place with the 19-year-old suspect and a struggle ensued before the officer was shot. The 19-year-old suspect, identified by sources as Terrell I. Thompson of Milwaukee, was killed.

Jerving worked out of Police District 4. He was recognized by the department in November with a life-saving award.

Jerving "dedicated his life to serving the great people of our city. To his last breath, Peter fulfilled that goal," according to a statement from the officer's family that was read by George Papachristou, the Milwaukee Police Department's chaplain.

Mark S.
Mark S.  

Mark S. Lentz

Mark S. Lentz died Sept. 18, 2019, more than two years after he sustained serious injuries during a crash.

The 56-year-old motorcycle officer was struck from behind while attempting to stop a speeding motorist on Aug. 3, 2017, in the 400 block of North 27th Street. Investigators believed the car hit him intentionally as part of a coordinated plan between the driver Lentz was trying to stop and the striking vehicle.

Lentz, who joined the department in 2001, suffered a brain injury in the crash. He worked on the department's motorcycle team for 13 years.

The driver, Sirantoine Powell, was sentenced to six years in prison in June 2018.

Lentz was remembered for his loud voice but also for being respectful to everyone.

"If you only knew Mark by his high-and-tight haircut, his black motorcycle leather jacket, and, of course, his black jeans, you missed the best part of the man," Sgt. Roberto Colon said. "Mark was humble, true to his words and the type of guy that would ask, 'Are you OK?' and actually mean it."

Matthew Rittner
Matthew Rittner  

Matthew Rittner

Matthew Rittner, 35, was killed Feb. 6, 2019, when he was executing a search warrant as part of the police department's tactical unit on the apartment of Jordan Fricke at South 12th Street. The search warrant was for illegal gun and drug sales.

After Rittner battered a hole in Fricke's apartment door with a ram, Fricke fired four shots from inside. Rittner was hit in the left upper chest and shoulder area.

Fricke, 27, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole later that year.

Rittner was a 17-year veteran of the police department. Rittner, a U.S. Marine, was deployed twice to Iraq.

"He was a great American, a great patriot," Guillermo Rosales Jr., who commanded Milwaukee-based Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, during Rittner's 2008 deployment to Iraq, told the Journal Sentinel.

Michael Michalski
Michael Michalski  

Michael Michalski

Michael Michalski, 52, was shot and killed July 25, 2018, while trying to arrest a convicted felon wanted on drug and domestic violence offenses.

Michalski, a 17-year police department veteran, was a member of the Special Investigations Division when he was killed.

Michalski and officers were met with gunfire by 30-year-old Jonathan Copeland Jr. when they arrived at a residence in the 400 block of North 28th Street for a drug and gun violations check. Copeland, who was hiding in a pile of clothes, shot Michalski in the head. In May 2019, Copeland was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of release.

Michalski was known for being a family man and volunteering in the community.

"He went about his business with the goal of doing what he signed up to do, work hard, come home and treat those around him with the same love and generosity that they showed to him," his son, John, said at his funeral.

Charles Irvine Jr.
Charles Irvine Jr.  

Charles Irvine Jr.

Charles Irvine Jr. was killed on June 7, 2018, during a police chase on Milwaukee's northwest side. The 23-year-old Irvine was a passenger in the squad car.

Ladell Harrison, 29, who was being investigated for a separate fatal drug offense, fled from a traffic stop and quickly reached speeds greater than 90 mph. About 37 seconds after the chase began, Irvine's vehicle lost control and a witness said it flipped 20 times before landing on its roof near Silver Spring Drive and North 76th Street.

Harrison, who had his 5-year-old son in the car, was arrested hours later. He had an unlicensed handgun in the car and was driving without a valid driver's license. In April 2019, Harrison was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Irvine was the first Milwaukee police officer to die in the line of duty in 22 years.

Irvine, who was called Chuckie by his friends and family, was remembered for his optimism and desire to serve.

"He was always happy. ... He'd come home, tell me about his day ... and even if it was negative, he'd always be positive," his girlfriend Rissa Martinez said.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Peter Jerving is fifth Milwaukee officer killed on duty since 2018


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