(CBS) — A Gary Police officer was found fatally shot while responding to a call early Sunday.
The Lake County Sheriff’s office confirmed to CBS 2 that three people have been taken into custody in connection with the shooting. One of those people was taken to the hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound.
The officer was shot and killed in the driver seat of his patrol car at 26th Avenue and Van Buren Place. He was responding to a call of shots fired at that location. The officer has been identified as Jeffrey Westerfield, who had served on the Gary Police Department for 19 years. Sunday is Westerfield’s 47th birthday and he has four daughters.
At around 5:45 a.m., a civilian saw Westerfield’s patrol car and called 911 after seeing his body was unresponsive. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department is leading the investigation with Gary Police assisting.
Police surrounded a home in the 2600 block of Jackson and took three people into custody. The home is about a block from where Westerfield was found.
Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram says Westerfield’s colleagues are suffering.
“I have my command staff working on employee assistance for counseling for all of our officers. Many of our officers worked with officer Westerfield for many years. He had been here almost 20 years, so the officers are just feeling a lot of deep hurt,” said Ingram.
Westerfield is the first Gary Police officer shot to death on duty since 1998.