NEWPORT, Ark. – Although authorities have not yet released the name of the suspected killer of a Newport police officer, an arrest has been listed in Jackson County Sheriff’s Office for capital murder.
Tyler Callamese, 18, of Searcy, was arrested early Tuesday morning, June 13, and booked into Jackson County Detention Center on a charge of capital murder, according to the MobilePatrol app. The booking time showed as 3:24 a.m.
The Facebook profile of Tyler Jerimale Calamese appears to confirm he was arrested as the suspected killer of slain Newport Police Department Lt. Patrick Weatherford, 41, with several family and friends posting in regard to the arrest.
Weatherford was shot Monday evening near Remmel Park in Newport while on duty. He later died from his injuries.
On Calamese’s profile, friends posted public pleas to “free” the young suspect. In a tagged post, one friend asked who put his brother’s name in the midst of all of this and claimed Calamese didn’t have anything to do with “that.”
A post at 1:19 p.m. Monday by Calamese said he was at “Harmony,” a reference to Harmony Homes apartments in Newport.
Another post by “Maemae Clark” claims the suspect, and another yet to be identified individual, were innocent and were with her at Harmony Homes when the shooting occurred.
Several indicated another arrest, possibly of the suspect known in posts as “Sizzle,” had been made. No other suspects showed as having been booked into Jackson County Detention Center besides Calamese.
Because Calamese is 18-years-old, authorities could seek the death penalty if he is charged with capital murder.
Weatherford was the first officer in NEA to die in the line of duty since Trumann PD Officer Jonathan Schmidt was murdered in April, 2011. He was a 15-year veteran of the Newport Police Department who graduated from the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Virginia. He was also a graduate of ASU-Newport and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
A source close to the family told NEA Report the officer confronted a suspect during the commission of a crime when the suspect turned and shot the law enforcer. Police have only confirmed he was on duty during the incident.
A dive team from Independence County was searching for the murder weapon Tuesday morning, the source also said.
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Photos taken from Facebook. Map from Google.