18-year-old turns himself in as Newport mourns death of police offficer

Arkansans mourn the death of Newport police officer

NEWPORT, Ark. (KTHV) - An 18-year-old turned himself in Monday evening after the shooting death of Newport police officer Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford.

18-year-old Tyler Jermiale Calamese will appear in court for a bond hearing Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. Calamese has not been formally charged with any criminal charges connected to the murder of Weatherford as of yet.

The signs of loss were evident in the small town of Newport. Flags were flown at half staff in his honor and the community lined the road as Weatherford's body was brought home Tuesday from the Arkansas State Crime Lab. He was a 15-year veteran of the Newport Police Department.

"Yesterday we lost a member of our department," said Chief Michael Scudder. "We didn't just lose a police officer, we lost a really good friend."

Scudder said he watched Weatherford serve the Newport community since day one.

"All he wanted to do was come to work and make things better for our community. We're hurting," said Scudder, fighting back tears.

While questions still surround what lead to Weatherford's death, Arkansas State Police said that Weatherford died while serving his city.

Police tell us it was around 6:00 p.m. Monday night when they received a call of a vehicle break in around Newport Avenue and Bowen Street. Weatherford was one of the first officers to respond to that call.

"A foot pursuit by Weatherford and other Newport officers entered a residential area," said Bill Sadler with the Arkansas State Police.

Police say that's when the suspect turned and fired a gun at police. Weatherford was shot, later dying in a hospital.

While Calamese turned himself in, police say others could still be questioned.

A dive team searched the Newport Lake Tuesday, trying to piece together what lead to Weatherford's death and who is responsible.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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