Milwaukee, WI – The widow of slain Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner has revealed that she discovered she was pregnant three days after her husband was murdered in the line of duty.
Caroline Rittner and her husband’s unit recently held a baby gender reveal party, and released pink balloons from a box, confirming that she is expecting a daughter, WISN reported.
The couple also has a young son.
"Bittersweet news, but we're going to have another Rittner out here in the world that's gonna come out and represent his [her] daddy," Milwaukee Police Sergeant Roberto Colon told WDJT.
The baby girl is due in October, WISN reported.
"It was met with mixed emotions," Milwaukee Police Lieutenant Kristin Felsman said. "Extremely joyful emotions because, [it’s]another legacy of Matt, and obviously very sad emotions because Matt would not be there to share in the joy of a new life."
Sgt. Colon said that the department is standing behind Caroline, and that she won’t be raising her children alone.
"She knows that she can come anytime and knock on our door,” he told WDJT. “She doesn't even have to. We're gonna be there bothering her all the time anyway. She'll probably have to kick us out of the house most of the time."
Officer Rittner, 35, was murdered in the line of duty on Feb. 6, as he and other Milwaukee Police Department Tactical Enforcement Unit officers were attempting to serve a warrant at a residence.
The target of the warrant, 26-year-old Jordan Fricke, was wanted for drugs and illegal sale of firearm charges.
As the officers attempted to breach the door, Fricke opened fire on them with a high-powered rifle, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The bullet struck Officer Rittner in the chest, and he was pronounced dead at Froedtert Hospital a short while later.
Officer Rittner, a 17-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, was also a U.S. Marine who served three tours in the Middle East.
"If you were to draw a picture of a United States Marine or draw a picture of a perfect police officer, that would be him," said Max Zaruba, a friend who served alongside Officer Rittner in the military, according to the Journal Sentinel.
"Matt was probably the happiest person in the world, to be a dad, to have an amazing wife, to be a police officer," Zaruba added. "He was excessively proud of that."
A fundraising page established to help Caroline and her children in the wake of Officer Rittner’s murder has raised over $95,000.