GARY, Ind. (AP) — Hundreds of police officers walked past the flag-draped casket of a slain Gary officer as his funeral began in the city’s convention center.
Officers from Indiana, Illinois and elsewhere entered the Genesis Convention Center on Monday with Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield’s casket placed in front of the stage. Westerfield was found shot to death in his squad car July 6 on his 47th birthday.
Police have a person of interest in custody at the Lake County Jail but he has not yet been charged.
Deputy Police Chief Larry McKinley says Westerfield was known to many as “the mayor of Black Oak” for his work in the neighborhood on Gary’s southwest side where he lived and patrolled.
Last week, Governor Mike Pence declared an official period of mourning to honor the loss of Westerfield, Tipton County Sheriff Deputy Jacob Calvin, and IMPD Officer Perry Renn, who were all killed in the line of duty in one week.