Police officer Ricky Orlowski Jr. in West Allis, Wi., was approaching a van with the broken taillight, leaning toward the rolled up driver’s window, when a bullet exploded through the glass. The Chicago Tribune says that Orlowski, 28, thought he was being shot at but actually it was Bart Ross killing himself. Ross left behind a note that claimed responsibility for killing Chicago federal judge Joan Lefkow’s husband and mother.
“A lot of times with a routine traffic stop, you don’t know what you’re dealing with,” said West Allis Police Chief Dean Puschnig. “Everybody was certainly very shocked.” Orlowski was wrapping up his shift after a sleepy day in court for an assault and battery case, making one last patrol through this quiet neighborhood just west of Milwaukee. He noticed Ross sitting behind the wheel of his idling van. “There wasn’t a reason for someone to be sitting there by the side of the road,” said Orlowski, a three-year veteran of the department.