Sunday was Westerfield’s birthday. He had been with the department since Aug. 29, 1995, Ingram said.
Ingram said the family had been notified, and that Westerfield had “four lovely daughters.”
He said police were following up on leads but had no one in custody.
Patrolman Daniel Perryman discovered the scene about 5:50 a.m.
Westerfield was pronounced dead at 6:36 a.m. of a gunshot wound, and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Lake County Coroner’s office.
The Region Stop Team, Gary SWAT, Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force and federal agents have joined Lake County and Gary police officers and detectives in a search for the shooter. A Lake County canine team was summoned immediately to help locate the suspect.
Off-duty Gary police and even some on vacation rushed to the area to help in the investigation.
About 8:15 a.m., Gary SWAT team members were preparing to launch an operation in the area near the shooting. Gary Fire Department medics were asked to stand by.
Councilwoman Kim Robinson, D-5th, who lives within walking distance of the scene, said the shooting was senseless.
“I know Jeff ... anybody out here putting their lives on the line, and to have it taken so senselessly is a huge concern,” Robinson said. “It could be some young kid on a dare, so then you throw one life away and another becomes worth not much anymore. And for what?”
Tribute Photo Courtesy of Rose Barisow GraFX
Gary Indiana Police Department
Sunday, July 6, 2014