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Bittersweet celebration after arrest in officer's killing

Posted at 11:28 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 00:42:39-04

RACINE — Workers and customers at Teezers Bar were overcome with emotion when news broke police arrested the suspect in Officer John Hetland's killing.

Last Monday, Hetland was off-duty when he was shot and killed trying to stop an armed robbery at Teezers. The killing set off a manhunt for a suspect that lasted more than a week.

Following the arrest the mood at Teezers shifted.

"The mood is a beautiful thing. I mean everybody is going to come here to celebrate," said Katie Czechowicz, a bartender at Teezers.

Czechowicz's sister, Heidi Fritz, was working the bar the night Hetland was killed.

"Sad to say it had to end in that tragedy, but he did end up saving my sister’s life and I thank him for that," said Czechowicz.

As Fritz walked into work Thursday night the room erupted in a chant. People shouted "Teezers strong" and there were hugs all around.

Fritz said she cried at home when she heard the suspect was caught.

"It feels incredible, just a big weight lifted off of me. It feels good," said Fritz.

Tina Schutten got emotional hugging Fritz as she came back to the bar.

"Happy and sad too because an officer lost his life, and he was loved by his community," Schutten said through tears.

For Fritz, the best part of Thursday's announcement was hearing they took the suspect in using Hetland's handcuffs.