Newport Mourns Officer Killed in Line of Duty

NEWPORT, Ark. - Flags are flying at half staff in Newport as the city mourns the loss of a police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty Monday night.

On Tuesday morning, our crew on the scene in Newport reported that donations were being dropped off at the Newport Police Department (NPD) by residents of the Jackson County city, who lost a hometown hero last night.

On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered the flag of the state of Arkansas to be lowered to half-staff in tribute to the memory of Lt. Patrick Weatherford. The flag will be flown at half-staff from June 13, 2017, to the day of his burial. The full proclamation can be found HERE.

Lt. Weatherford, 41, was a 15-year NPD veteran, who was married with two children. Police said a suspect was in custody.

Also Tuesday, a search was underway at a lake near the scene of the incident where the suspect was believed to have thrown his gun.

Arkansas officials have been issuing statements honoring the slain officer:

  • "May Newport Police Lt. Patrick Weatherford Rest In Peace. My prayers are for his family, friends and colleagues." - U.S. Sen. John Boozman via Twitter
  • "Today, we mourn the death of a distinguished member of the Arkansas law-enforcement community. Lt. Weatherford was a 15-year veteran of the Newport police force who just last year was recognized as the Jackson County officer of the year for his outstanding performance and unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our state. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, fellow officers, and the entire Newport community." - U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton
  • “I was saddened to hear that Lt. Patrick Weatherford was shot and killed in the line of duty yesterday afternoon. Lt. Weatherford's 15-year career at the Newport Police Department demonstrates his bravery, selflessness and commitment to serving his community. He will be remembered for his courage and dedication to serve and protect the people in and around the Newport area. We are forever indebted to men and women like Lt. Weatherford, who put their lives on the line every day to keep others safe. Our hearts go out to his family, the law enforcement community and the Newport Police Department during this difficult time.” - Governor Asa Hutchinson
  • “Today marks the end of watch for Lt. Patrick Weatherford, the Jackson County Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2016. Lt. Weatherford was known for routinely preventing incidents and altercations from escalating into crisis, and I have no doubt that Lt. Weatherford began his watch today with the same mission to protect and serve the community he loved so much. His young family and his fellow officers of the Newport Police Department are all grieving, and I pray that God will bring them strength and peace in the days ahead. May we all be reminded of the words found in John 15:13, ‘that greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’” - Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
  • "Jackson County lost a hero in the line of duty yesterday. Lt. Patrick Weatherford of the Newport Police Department lost his life in an ambush while serving and protecting. Today we grieve Lt. Weatherford; we mourn with his family, his friends and his brothers and sisters in uniform. Lt. Patrick Weatherford's dedication to service was and will continue to be an inspiration to all of us in the 47th District and throughout Arkansas. We will remember his life the way he lived it every day: with honor, valor, and a kind spirit. Today is a sobering reminder of the risks those in law enforcement take to ensure our safety, and we lift up the law enforcement community in our thoughts and prayers.” - Rep. Michael John Gray (D-Augusta)

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