One year later: memorial service planned to honor Lt. Patrick Weatherford

One year later: memorial service planned to honor Lt. Patrick Weatherford
(Source: KAIT)

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - On June 12, 2017, Lt. Patrick Weatherford was responding to a reported vehicle break-in when he was killed in the line of duty.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his death.

The memorial and prayer service will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Veterans Park, located at Front and Hazel Streets in downtown Newport.

Weatherford was a 15-year veteran of the Newport Police Department when he was shot and killed.

Derrick Heard, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, later admitted his role in Weatherford's death, according to court documents.

He was been charged as an adult with capital murder, attempted capital murder, breaking or entering, theft of property, and possession of a handgun by a minor.

Heard later pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

A graduate of Newport High School, Weatherford received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Arkansas State University and his master's from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. He was one of 132 law enforcement officers to graduate from the FBI National Academy in 2016.

More than 1,100 people attended his funeral at Arkansas State University-Newport, where he had received his associate's degree and often worked off-duty security.

Law enforcement officers from around Region 8 and beyond helped lay him to rest. Among the eulogies, his friends remembered Weatherford as an unselfish, brave man who was beloved by all who knew him.

"Other officers down the line may wear the badge number," said retired-Captain James Duvall, as he choked back tears. "But they're not Patrick."

Lt. Weatherford is survived by his wife, Kristen, and two children, Kaitlyn and Kaleb.

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