MILWAUKEE -- Tuesday, July 9 marked the first day of testimony in Jordan Fricke's trial. He's the man accused in the fatal shooting of Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner. Fifteen jurors were selected late Monday.
Fricke, 27, is accused of fatally shooting Rittner in February while police were executing a drugs and firearms search warrant near 12th and Manitoba. He was charged with first degree intentional homicide, as well as three other felonies.
Jurors heard opening statements Tuesday morning, and then toured the crime scene Tuesday afternoon. The most compelling evidence Tuesday was the body camera footage from the officers with MPD's Tactical Enforcement Unit who were with Rittner when he was shot. The video showed Rittner using a battering ram to break down the door, creating a hole in the process. That's when gunshots rang out.
Officer Lane Grady was right behind Rittner in the stairwell.
"After hearing the shots and the way he fell, he didn't make a sound. I knew he had been shot," said Grady.
Prosecutors argued Fricke could see the officers wearing police gear through the hole when he aimed his AK-47 at them from his kitchen.
"What was it designed to do? It's designed to kill," said John Chisholm, Milwaukee County district attorney.
The defense argued Fricke was unaware who was outside his home, and feared he was under attack.
"Don't confuse his intent to protect himself with an intent to kill," said Michael Chernin, defense attorney. "The police made a lot of noise, but we don't know what he heard on the other side of that door. There's one guy who was scared as anything, and anyone could be."
Rittner was a 17-year veteran of the force and a Marine. He was the third MPD officer killed in the line of duty in less than a year.
Despite the extensive news coverage of this incident, the judge denied the defense's request in June to sequester the jury.