Police Gathering Evidence In Murder Of Gary Cop
GARY, Ind. (CBS) — There is a possible break in the case of a murdered Gary Police officer.
Officer Jeff Westerfield was shot and killed as he sat in his patrol car Sunday.
Sources tell CBS 2 investigators are talking to people who were in contact with the suspected shooter the day officer Westerfield was killed.
CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports through those interviews, investigators were led to a location where a gun was recovered, but ballistic tests are still needed to determine if it is in fact the gun that killed Westerfield.
Earlier Tuesday the Indiana Governor Mike Pence met with Westerfield’s family at the Gary Public Safety Facility.
Westerfield’s fiance and her children arrived around 2:30 and a short time later Governor Pence and his wife Karen arrived. Media cameras weren’t allowed into the private meeting between the governor and Westerfield’s family, but afterward the governor spoke to reporters, saying officer Westerfield is an “Indiana hero.”
“It is clear to people far beyond the boundaries of Gary, Indiana that officer Jeff Westerfield was a man of integrity,” said Governor Pence. “He was a public servant of the very highest order and he was a beloved figure not only to the people of this department, but to the people of this community.”
As for the investigation into Westerfield’s murder, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says two of the three men arrested Sunday have been released, but the suspected shooter remains behind bars on a warrant not related to Westerfield’s murder.
“We are fairly confident that the person of interest who is in custody is in fact the person responsible for this heinous act,” said Freeman-Wilson.
Police are still not identifying that suspect, and he has not been charged with Westerfield’s murder.
Westerfield was patrolling alone when he was shot. CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports Westerfield’s may very well lead to an immediate change of policy.
“One thing I’m looking at is that officers who work late night or midnight work in pairs instead of working alone,” said Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram.
Tannetta McKinney heard gunshots that night which may have been the ones that killed Westerfield.
“All I heard was just some shooting … bam bam bam bam and I said dang someone’s getting killed — but then, it was true,” said McKinney.
The funeral arrangements for officer Westerfield are now set. Visitation is Sunday from two until eight at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary. The funeral is Monday at eleven.