NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - Authorities have released more information into the shooting death investigation of a Newport officer.
Lt. Patrick Weatherford was killed in the line of duty Monday.
During a news conference Tuesday, Arkansas State Police stated Weatherford was responding to a vehicle break-in. A suspect fled and the officer chased the suspect on foot around Newport Ave. and Bowen St. near Remmel Park.
According to ASP, the suspect turned and shot Weatherford.
An 18-year-old suspect was arrested in the investigation. He reportedly turned himself over to Newport police around 7:30 p.m. Monday.
The name of the suspect was not immediately released pending the filing of formal charges. ASP expects those charges could be filed as soon as Wednesday.
A dive team from Independence County was called to Newport Tuesday to search for a gun used in the shooting. Additional details about the weapon used were not released during the news conference.
"We're hurting," Newport Police Chief Michael Scudder added. "Patrick was a good friend to everyone he met. We will miss him."
"Our hearts are broken today. We're grieving the loss of one our one. A family man. He will be missed," Newport Mayor David Stewart said.
"Today is a tragic day for law enforcement," ASP Col. Bill Bryant said. "Every available resource in Arkansas will be working on this case."
Weatherford was a 15-year veteran of the Newport police force and graduated from the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, in 2016. Weatherford, 41, was also a graduate of ASU-Newport and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and was named the 2016 Jackson County Officer of the Year by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
Jackson's Funeral Homes in Newport will be in charge of Lt. Weatherford's arrangements. Services are incomplete at this time.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Weatherford is the first police officer in Northeast Arkansas to die in the line of duty since April 2011 when Trumann police officer Jonathan Schmidt was shot and killed during a traffic stop.
A year earlier, West Memphis officers Thomas William Evans and Robert Brandon Paudert were shot and killed during a traffic stop on I-40.
Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge.
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