Community raises $45K for Bradley officer critically injured in hotel shooting that killed partner

Bailey's partner Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic was shot and killed in incident
CHICAGO (WLS) -- An Illinois community is coming together to raise funds for Bradley Police Officer Tyler Bailey, 27, who was critically wounded in a hotel shooting that left his partner dead.

He was moved out of ICU Saturday and is now in stable condition, his family said, but the road to recovery continues.

Officer Bailey, and his partner, Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic, were both shot in the line of duty on December 28 as they responded to a noise complaint at a downstate motel.

RELATED: Bradley police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic killed in hotel shooting, partner injured

Rittmanic died of her injuries. Bailey was critically wounded and has been recovering at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Sgt. Rittmanic's funeral was held last week.

"We got to keep our Tyler. They lost their Marlene, so blessings to them. And, I hope Marlene is looking at everyone here and is smiling down," said Kathleen Bailey-Patterson, Bailey's aunt.

Sunday, Bailey's community held a fundraiser to help his family with growing expenses. Organizers said within the first hour they raised more than $45,000.

"I think we all hoped that it would become this, but I don't think we ever expected this, ever," said Lauren Duffield, the fundraiser's co-organizer.

They hosted the event at a Bourbonnais to show support for the officer shot in the line of duty.

"Northfield Square Mall said zero dollars. They donated it," said fellow co-organizer Melissa Curtis. "Bo Jackson donated a signed jersey and a signed football."

RELATED: Bradley police officer Tyler Bailey out of ICU 23 days after being shot, family says

While two suspects were eventually arrested, Bailey remained in the intensive care unit, fighting for his life.

"I know what getting that phone call is like, and I know what you need after that phone call. So, that's why I'm here," said Melany Jacobson, a police widow and co-organizer.

Organizers said it's the least they could do for a man who put his life on the line to keep his community protected.

"Tyler hears the prayers. He hears all those prayers, and the prayers are with him," said Lisa Godin, who is also Bailey's aunt.

According to the family, Bailey has shown small improvements each day. Earlier this week, after 23 days in ICU, he was moved from the intensive care unit to standard hospital care.

"Tyler is going to live to tell his story, and give back to all of this that he's receiving tonight," Bailey-Patterson added.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.