NEWPORT, Ark. – With tears coming from many eyes in the room, authorities confirmed several details in the murder of Newport Police Lt. Patrick Weatherford from Monday night.
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Newport Municipal Building, Arkansas State Police Spokesman Bill Sadler confirmed an 18-year-old suspect turned himself in on Monday night to Newport police. Sadler would not confirm the suspect’s name but did confirm he was expected to appear before a judge for a bond hearing on Wednesday, June 14. Authorities indicated his name would be released at that time.
Tyler Callamese, 18, of Searcy, was booked into Jackson County Detention Center, facing 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, the last name spelled slightly different, appears to confirm he was arrested as the suspected killer.
At approximately 6 p.m. Monday, June 12, Newport police received information reporting a vehicle break in near the area of Bowen Street and Newport Avenue. This is just west of Remmel Park. Weatherford responded to the call and spotted an individual who fled the area, Sadler said. A foot pursuit by Weatherford and other Newport officers entered a residential area where the suspect allegedly turned and fired a gun at police. Weatherford was wounded by the gunfire and transported to the hospital where he later died.
“These types of news conferences are happening all too often,” Sadler said. “Law enforcement officers are being killed in the line of duty far too frequently.”
Fighting back tears, Newport Police Chief Michael Scudder said he lost a member of his department but it wasn’t just a police officer to Scudder and the community. He called Weatherford a “really good friend.”
“Patrick worked for me for 15 years and he was an excellent officer,” Scudder said. “He was a father and a husband. He cared about his family. All he wanted to do was go to work and make things better for our community. We’re hurting.”
Police confirmed the investigation was continuing but they did not say if other arrests were expected.
A fund has been established at Merchants & Planters Bank in Newport for Weatherford’s family.
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Featured photo: NewportARCity.org
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