Two off-duty police officers in Wisconsin have died within a 24-hour span -- one after his car was struck by a driver with a history of drunken driving, the other as he came upon an armed robbery and tried to take down the suspect.
Racine Officer John Hetland saw a robbery in progress at a tavern on Monday night and jumped over the bar to tackle the suspect, who fatally shot him, the local Fox affiliate reported. Local news reports said a search was underway for the shooter.
“He went behind the bar and demanded money and wielded a gun,” Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said about the shooter.
Hetland was a 24-year veteran with the department, according to the local Fox affiliate station. He leaves behind a son and daughter.
The next morning, Milwaukee Police Officer Kou Her’s car was hit by a driver who was traveling at high speed and blew through a red light.
Her had been with the department for two years. Witnesses to the crash gave police information that helped them make an arrest.
Her is survived by six brothers, two sisters and his parents.
"It's unnecessary, because somebody made a choice,” Milwaukee Alderman Cavalier Johnson told the Fox affiliate. “Somebody made a choice -- a choice to drive through a red light and take the life of a public servant.
"Another public servant gone. I have nothing but respect and condolences to give to Officer Her and Officer Her's family."
Police said the driver, who was not named, had four drunken driving convictions in the state. He was on probation from a 2017 drunken driving incident, the affiliate reported..
A $20,000 reward from the FBI and $5,000 reward from a business are being offered for information that results in Hetland’s shooter’s arrest and conviction,
"Everyone that knew Officer Hetland thinks absolutely positively of him," said Robert Duthie, a chaplain.