Family members remember fallen Gary police officer - FOX 32 News Chicago

Family members remember fallen Gary police officer

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GARY, Ind. (FOX 32 News) -

Instead of celebrating her fiancé’s birthday or planning their wedding, Denise Cather is preparing to lay to rest Gary Police Department Officer 47 year old Jeffery Brady Westerfield.

“There’s no words to describe what we we're going through to be honest. We loss a great man, he had a heart of gold and he did anything for anybody. Honestly, the person that shot him, dumb,” said Cather.

Westerfield was shot early Sunday morning while responding to a report of shots fired.

“The last time I saw him was 11:20 last night. I was sleeping like any other night, he came in there kiss me on my cheek, say I love you, sweet dreams, see you in the morning babe and I'd say stay safe and that was the last time I saw him,” said Cather.

Westerfield was found slumped in his parked squad car near 26th Avenue and Van Buren Place, just north of Interstate 80.

“A citizen got out of his car and noticed the officer was unresponsive and he called 9-1-1,” said Police Chief Wade Ingram.

Ingram and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said it’s been 16 years since the city loss an officer in the line of duty and had a stern message for those responsible.

“What is means is that we will go to every measure, every legal measure to make sure that the person that is responsible for this is held accountable,” said Freeman-Wilson.

By Sunday night three suspects were in custody after a house near the crime scene was raided by police.

Westerfield was a 19 year veteran of the Gary Police Department, soon to be husband and father to four daughters who shared fond memories.

“Jeff was a big jokester. He was always playing jokes so I was hoping that when I got here it was another one but it wasn't,” said Tricia Sheaks, Westerfield’s step-daughter.

Fox 32’s Tisha Lewis reports Westerfield was the third Indiana law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in the past week. Indianapolis Metro Police Officer Perry Renn was killed in the line of duty less than 24 hours ago. Indiana Governor Mike Pence ordered flags lowered in each officer’s county of residence and extended his condolences and prayers.

 

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