NEWPORT, Ark. (KTHV) – Tyler Calamese, an 18-year-old from Newport, has admitted to shooting and killing Newport police lieutenant Patrick Weatherford Monday night, according to Arkansas State Police.
Arkansas State Police confirmed that 41-year-old Lt. Weatherford was shot and killed near the Remmel Park area in Newport. Weatherford was a 15-year veteran of the Newport police force. Investigators said the bullet hit near Lt. Weatherford's heart. The Arkansas State Crime Lab confirmed the shot is what lead to his death.
According to Bill Sadler with the Arkansas State Police, the last time a Newport officer was killed in the line of duty was 1918.
In 2016, Weatherford graduated from the FBI National Academy Program according to the Newport Independent. He was one of only three law enforcement officers from Newport to be selected for the program.
"We have the same challenges in Newport as they have in New York City," he told the Newport Independent in April of 2016. "We have the same challenges as they have in South Korea."
18y.o. Tyler Calamese has arrived to court. His bond hearing is set for 9am. He's being held in connection to the murder of Lt Weatherford. pic.twitter.com/4c79ahbhRq— Erika Ferrando THV11 (@ErikaFerrandoTV) June 14, 2017
Calamese's grandmother, Janet Reynolds, sat in on Wednesday's bond hearing. She said her grandson is innocent.
"I love him and I'm standing behind him, because I believe in him, and I know he ain't done this," she said. “I’m very sorry for what has happened. Everyone in this town loves Patrick weather ford. He was a great officer and detective. I’ve known him personally, great friend. I’ve talked to him several times. You could ask for a better cop. I’m sorry for the family, but my grandson did not do this he does not have the demeanor to do this"
Reynolds added that Calamese has never been in trouble and was an "A and B student."
Calamese, who turned himself into police Monday night, is being charged with capital murder in Lt. Weatherford’s death. The Jackson County Court Judge ordered no bond for Calamese.
Calamese will return to court on June 20 at 9 a.m.