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Wis. police investigate slaying of on-duty officer

  • Article by: CARRIE ANTLFINGER
  • Associated Press
  • December 24, 2012 - 5:45 PM

MILWAUKEE - A suburban Milwaukee police officer was found shot and killed on Christmas Eve a couple of hours after a police dispatcher tried unsuccessfully to reach her, and authorities said they were investigating the case as a homicide.

A dispatcher tried to reach Officer Jennifer Lynn Sebena, 30, for a call about 3 a.m. Monday, but she didn't respond, Wauwatosa Lt. Gerald Witkowski said. Officers began looking for her and found her dead with several gunshot wounds about 5 a.m., he said. He didn't know if she was found inside or outside her squad car or whether she tried to defend herself.

Investigators have no suspects, and Witkowski urged witnesses to come forward.

"Our hearts are really heavy," he said. "You just can't believe something like this occurs."

Sebena graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College's police academy, he said. She started solo work with the police department in Wauwatosa, a city of about 46,000 people just west of Milwaukee, in July and ended her probationary period in November. Witkowski said he's the field training coordinator and worked with her when she went through the department's program and even went to her graduation.

"Great person. Great officer," he said. "This is just an unbelievable act that has touched everybody at the department, especially at this time."

He said Sebena was married but he didn't know if she had children.

Witkowski didn't have details on the call that prompted dispatchers to try to reach Sebena or whether it could be related to her death. He said he didn't think there was a safety risk to the local residents.

"What a tragic day for our community and our hearts go out to Officer Sebena's family," Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley said.

Ehley said the city was grateful for the response of so many other communities who sent officers to help, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The state Justice Department's criminal investigation unit is helping in the investigation.

© 2014 Star Tribune