Man charged in Gary cop Jeffrey Westerfield killing

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Thursday, July 24, 2014
Man charged in Gary police officer killing
Carl Le'Ellis Blount Jr. has been charged in connection with the death of Gary police officer Jeffrey Westerfield.

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- Carl Le'Ellis Blount Jr., a 25-year-old Portage man, has been charged in the shooting death of Gary Police Officer Jeffrey Westerfield.

Blount was taken into custody July 6, but not charged until Thursday. He was being held in Lake County Jail in Crown Point on warrants out of Porter County.

Westerfield was responding to a call of a shot fired in a domestic dispute on July 6 when Blount, who police say was involved in a fight with his girlfriend, allegedly shot Westerfield.

"What happened can't be changed, we can't go back and make this person not do these things," said Allie Westerfield, the victim's daughter.

Prosecutors allege Blount shot Officer Westerfield as he sat in his squad car with the lights on and the engine running. The officer, who would have turned 47-years-old that day, never even pulled his weapon before he was shot in the head.

Blount, who police say has a long criminal record, allegedly fled the scene but was picked up for questioning later that day.

Investigators say they have statements from a number of witnesses, including Blount's half-brother, that implicate him in the murder.

"He was involved in a disturbance not even an hour before the shooting of the officer, and through video and surveillance tape of different businesses, we were able to track his whereabouts leading up to where the officer was found," said John Buncich, Lake County Sheriff.

Blount was already on probation for a domestic assault on a girlfriend and kicking an officer in Porter County last year. Investigators say they have no reason to believe Blount knew Officer Westerfield and are unable to offer a specific motive for the crime.

But the sheriff says investigators worked around the clock to put this case together and they're confident they have the right suspect.

"It does make me feel a little bit better that these people have put in so much effort for us to get this man behind bars, and if he stays there, he won't be able to hurt anyone else," Allie Westerfield said.

Police say they have identified the gun that was used to kill Officer Westerfield using ballistics, but have not located that gun. Prosecutors say they will consider the death penalty in this case.