‘Coward’ suspect captured in killing of Wisconsin police officer: Sheriff
Racine Police Dept.(MILWAUKEE, Wis.) — A suspect has been taken into custody 10 days after he allegedly gunned down an off-duty Wisconsin police officer during a robbery attempt.
The suspect, 26-year-old Dalquavis Ward of Milwaukee, was taken to jail Thursday in slain Officer John Hetland’s handcuffs, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said.
“That part feels good,” Beth said at a news conference on Thursday.
Hetland, a 24-year veteran of the Racine Police Department, had worked the day shift on June 17. That night, he was off-duty and at Teezers Tavern in Racine when he saw an armed robbery unfolding, police said.
Hetland, a father of two, tried to intervene and was shot, police said.
The slaying launched a massive manhunt for his killer.
Authorities released photos of a suspect and a reward for information climbed to $80,000.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling called the suspect a “coward.”
The crime lab gave information leading police to find Ward in Milwaukee, Sheriff Beth said, though he did not elaborate on what led investigators there.
With a somber group of police officers behind him, Racine Police Chief Art Howell said Thursday, “John was clearly a special member of our department. But we have a lot of members who exemplify the same spirit.”
“The only way we can honor John Hetland is to emulate John Hetland,” Howell said.
“The city experienced a loss that we haven’t experienced in 45 years,” Racine Mayor Cory Mason said Thursday.
“Our city has been grieving,” he said, but now “we can breathe a sigh of relief” that a suspect is in custody.
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