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ODMP Remembers...

Detective William Riverdale Police Department, Illinois


William "Wally" Rolniak, Jr.

Riverdale Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch: Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 39

Tour: 14 years

Badge # 101

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 2/4/2004

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Suspect: Shot and killed

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Detective William Rolniak was shot and killed execution style after being taken hostage inside the Riverdale police station.

The suspect had been in custody on charges of attempted murder, home invasion and aggravated kidnapping after breaking into a home and abducting his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint nine days earlier, despite having an order of protection issued against him. The suspect had just finished being interviewed by an assistant state's attorney and was being transferred from an interview room to the lockup area of the station when he grabbed Detective Rolniak's service weapon out of its holster at approximately 8:15 pm. The suspect was not handcuffed at the time because he had been cooperating with the authorities.

The suspect then forced Detective Rolniak out of the police station, took him behind a building across the street and shot him in the head. The suspect attempted to flee by trying to carjack three different vehicles, shooting and wounding an elderly man who refused to give up his vehicle. Three other officers in pursuit of the suspect ordered him to drop the weapon, but instead, he aimed the gun at the officers, who then shot and killed him. Detective Rolniak was transported to Christ Medical Center where he died two hours later.

Detective Rolniak had served with the Riverdale Police Department for 14 years and was a U.S. Air Force veteran. He was survived by his wife, two teenage daughters, parents and three sisters. On March 4th, 2005, the Detective William (Wally) Rolniak Jr. Public Safety Building was dedicated in his honor.

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To this very blessed man who gave the ultimate to protect those around him I say thank you sir . We never got to meet (i live in tx. ) to his wife and family I do understand the pain and hurt you have (my mother was taken in a murder for hire) just know that he loved each and everyone of you as much as you loved him . And with each reflection becomes another great memory that you will always have being together Detective you sir are very well respected by everyone and from a guy that never got the opportunity to shake your hand I say my hats off to you sir you are truly one of a kind

private citizen Michael Young
Private citizen Dallas, TX
December 11, 2014


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