After the tragic shooting death of Newport police officer Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford, several Arkansas lawmakers have offered their condolences including Governor Asa Hutchinson and Senator Tom Cotton.
Below are their official statements on Weatherford's murder.
Governor Asa Hutchinson:
“I was saddened to hear that Lt. Patrick Weatherford was shot and killed in the line of duty yesterday afternoon. Lt. Weatherford's 15-year career at the Newport Police Department demonstrates his bravery, selflessness, and commitment to serving his community. He will be remembered for his courage and dedication to serve and protect the people in and around the Newport area. We are forever indebted to men and women like Lt. Weatherford, who put their lives on the line every day to keep others safe. Our hearts go out to his family, the law enforcement community and the Newport Police Department during this difficult time.”
State Rep. Michael John Gray:
"Jackson County lost a hero in the line of duty yesterday. Lt. Patrick Weatherford of the Newport Police Department lost his life in an ambush while serving and protecting. Today we grieve Lt. Weatherford; we mourn with his family, his friends and his brothers and sisters in uniform.
Lt. Patrick Weatherford's dedication to service was and will continue to be an inspiration to all of us in the 47th District and throughout Arkansas. We will remember his life the way he lived it every day: with honor, valor, and a kind spirit. Today is a sobering reminder of the risks those in law enforcement take to ensure our safety, and we lift up the law enforcement community in our thoughts and prayers."
Lt. Governor Tim Griffin:
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Officer Lt. Patrick Weatherford during this time of grief and sorrow. Arkansans mourn the loss of Lt. Weatherford as we recognize and honor his sacrifice in the line of duty. My thoughts and prayers are also with the Newport Police Department and the broader law enforcement community as they mourn the loss of one of their own. This heart-breaking tragedy is a sobering reminder of the dangers our men and women in law enforcement face each and every day when they put on their uniforms to protect and serve our communities."
U.S. Senator Tom Cotton:
"Today, we mourn the death of a distinguished member of the Arkansas law-enforcement community. Lt. Weatherford was a 15-year veteran of the Newport police force who just last year was recognized as the Jackson County officer of the year for his outstanding performance and unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our state. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, fellow officers, and the entire Newport community."
U.S. Senator John Boozman:
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge:
“Today marks the end of watch for Lt. Patrick Weatherford, the Jackson County Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2016,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Lt. Weatherford was known for routinely preventing incidents and altercations from escalating into crisis, and I have no doubt that Lt. Weatherford began his watch today with the same mission to protect and serve the community he loved so much. His young family and his fellow officers of the Newport Police Department are all grieving, and I pray that God will bring them strength and peace in the days ahead. May we all be reminded of the words found in John 15:13, ‘that greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’”