CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — Prosecutors charged a 24-year-old man Thursday in the shooting death of a Gary police officer.
Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter said that his office had filed a murder charge against Carl Le’Ellis Blount Jr. of Gary in connection with the slaying of Officer Jeffrey Westerfield on July 6, the officer’s 47th birthday.
Blount was being held on charges of murder and criminal recklessness. He also was being held on a warrant from neighboring Porter County.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Blount picked up a gun and ran after being shot in the leg during a domestic disturbance. He allegedly texted the woman, “Nice shot.”
A relative called 911, and investigators said Westerfield had radioed for a description of Blount shortly before he was shot.
Investigators used surveillance camera footage and cellphone records to connect Blount with Westerfield’s killing.
During a cellphone conversation with an acquaintance, Blount allegedly talked about dismantling a gun, hiding the parts around the house and flushing the bullets down the toilet.
Police also found a photo of a semi-automatic handgun sitting on a bed on Blount’s cellphone.
Investigators traced the gun used to kill Westerfield to Indianapolis and discovered it had been stolen. The affidavit did not make it clear how police obtained the gun.
A telephone message seeking comment was left for Blount’s public defender.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said she was pleased charges had been filed.
“I hope this brings a certain amount of relief to the family and the men and women of the Gary Police Department,” she said in a statement.