Prayer service held for Bradley officers shot in line of duty hospital where Ofc. Bailey recovers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A prayer service was held Monday night for two Bradley police officers who were shot in the line of duty, one who is still fighting for his life.

Rows of police officers, sheriff's deputies, state troopers and parishioners on Chicago's Southwest Side, in an area heavily populated by Chicago police officers, attended a service at St. Rita of Cascia. This time it's not one of CPD's own they bowed to pray for.

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"For this there are mutual feelings around the shooting on Wednesday, December 28," said Rev. Kimberly Davis, chaplain for the Chicago Police Department. "They're feelings of anger and rage, feelings of hurt and disbelief."

Bradley police officer Tyler Bailey, 27, was critically injured responding to a noise complaint at a downstate motel two weeks ago. He is still recovering at nearby Christ Hospital.

His partner, Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic, was shot and killed.

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"You never know what you're walking into. As police officers we know that, but just to hear the way it happened and what happened, it hurt all of us," said Chief Leo Schmitz, Cook County Sheriff's Office. "And that's why you saw all these police officers here today."

Officer Bailey's mother, sitting unannounced in the sanctuary, heard their prayers.

"She just said thank you and hugged me and cried," said Father Tom McCarthy, St. Rita of Cascia. "It was a long hug and I said, 'We're here with you. We are with you.'"

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The community has taken that embrace seriously. Officer Bailey's family is staying on the Southwest Side to be close to the hospital as he slowly recovers, and people who live in the 19th Ward are supporting their stay with gift cards to ease their financial burden while they're away from home.

"I want them to know that although this may not be home, it's their home now and we're here to do anything we can," said 19th Ward Alderman Matt O'Shea.

Sgt. Rittmanic's funeral was held last week.
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