Visitation held for slain Gary police officer

An ambulance takes away one of the suspects in the shooting death of veteran Gary Police officer Jeff Westerfield in Gary, Ind., Sunday, July 6, 2014. The officer was found dead in his car Sunday morning. (AP Photo/The Times, John J. Watkins)

GARY, Ind. (AP) — Hundreds of mourners lined up inside a convention center Sunday to express their condolences to the family of a Gary police officer found fatally shot in his patrol car one week earlier.

More than three dozen officers in two lines saluted family members of Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield as they entered the Genesis Convention Center. Amid the floral arrangements, mementoes from Westerfield’s life included photos from his Little League years, the births of his four daughters, and his Army induction.

The mourners, including more than 100 law enforcement officers from various agencies, exchanged hugs and a few words and clasped hands with the bereaved, the Post-Tribune reported.

Also attending were relatives of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Perry Renn, who was fatally wounded during a gun battle July 5. Renn’s funeral was held Friday in Indianapolis.

Westerfield’s funeral service will be held Monday morning at the convention center. After a procession, he is to be buried at Chapel Lawn Cemetery in Schererville. Organizers said they were expecting between 600 and 1,000 law enforcement personnel and hundreds of others at the funeral.

Westerfield was found shot to death July 6 on his 47th birthday. Police have a person in custody, but charges have not been filed and the investigation continues. The person, whose name has not been released, is being held on a failure to appear warrant from a probation revocation hearing.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich, who is leading the investigation, has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in Westerfield’s slaying. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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