Here is a collection of all the latest coverage of the death of Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox, who was killed in the line of duty following a traffic stop early Sunday morning.
Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea said during a press conference Sunday that Cox made a traffic stop in the area of East State Street and Dawn Avenue just after 1 a.m. Sunday. A short time later, Cox made a brief transmission indicating he needed assistance. Officers responded to the area and found a single vehicle crash about two blocks north of the original stop.
Offices at the scene found the driver who Cox had been pulled over, 49-year-old Eddie Patterson, dead inside the crashed vehicle. Officers also found Cox at the scene critically injured.
Police officers on the scene attempted life-saving maneuvers on Cox before he was transported to the hospital. Cox was pronounced dead a short time later at OSF St. Anthony's.
Preliminary reports indicate Officer Cox was involved in a struggle during the stop that resulted in him "becoming entangled" in the suspect's vehicle. It is believed that Cox fired his weapon during this incident.
Because police believe Officer Cox fired his weapon, the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force has been called in to investigate.
Cause of death
Autopsy results released Monday indicated Cox died of blunt force trauma likely caused from the crash. An autopsy for Eddie Patterson revealed he died of gunshot wounds believed to be the result of Officer Cox firing his gun.
Rockford officials say Officer's Cox death is being ruled as a homicide.
Officer Jaimie Cox
Officer Cox had been with the Rockford Police Department we just under a year, having joined the department last December. He was a graduate of Hononegah High School and Northern Illinois University. He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army National Guard in 2010, and then worked for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' law enforcement division before joining Rockford's force.
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said Sunday was the most difficult day in his short time as mayor, adding that it is "humbling and inspiring" to see the amount of support coming from the community.
During the City Council meeting Monday, McNamara said Cox was "a tremendous husband, a loving son, a great colleague and a wonderful friend." He also ordered City Hall and the Morgan Street Bridge be lit blue to pay tribute to Officer Cox.
On Monday night, hundreds of police cruisers escorted the body of Officer Cox as he was transported from the Winnebago County Coroner's Office, down State Street, to Mulford, and finally to Fitzgerald Funeral Home.
The procession lasted about 45 minutes and included police personnel from all across our area and region. Hundreds of people lined the streets of Rockford, waving flags and showing their support for the force.
Winnebago County Chairman Frank Haney and Sheriff Gary Caruana released a joint statement Sunday in reaction to the officer's death. It read:
On behalf of the County Board, Sheriff’s Department, and the County of Winnebago, we would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to Officer Cox, his wife and entire family, as well as his many life-long friends. It is clear that Jaimie represented the very best of who we are as a community. He is a great example of what we need in our young people today – someone who grew-up here, made a commitment to furthering his education, found his passion, and was committed to making his hometown a better place as an adult. There is no doubt he will be missed but his impressive track record of service to others will serve as an example for all of us to follow.
We would also like to extend our condolences to Mayor McNamara, Chief O’Shea, the Rockford Police Department, and City employees. Although there are multiple cities inside Winnebago County, we are ONE community today – a community grieving the loss of one of its best and brightest. To that end, thank you to all who serve as first responders and work to keep us safe.
The Chairman will continue to be in regular communication with the Mayor and the Sheriff will continue to be in regular communication with the Chief. We remain committed to working with our partners through this most difficult and tragic of times.
Stateline residents held a prayer vigil for Officer Cox at the Unitarian Universalist Church Monday night.
Statewide, national reaction
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner released a statement following Cox's death, saying, “we are deeply saddened by the death of Officer Jaimie Cox. He paid the ultimate price while working to keep our communities safe. My thoughts and prayers are with his family as they find a way to cope with this tragic loss.”
On Tuesday Rauner called on flags in Illinois to be lowered to half-staff on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Dozens of law enforcement agencies from across the country have made social media posts in support of Officer Cox and the Rockford Police Department.
The City of Rockford says visitation for Officer Cox will be held on Friday, November 10, at First Free Rockford, 2223 North Mulford Road, from 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. A law enforcement walk-through is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
The police funeral service will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, also at First Free Rockford. A procession will follow immediately after the service.
The city says details on the procession route will be shared later this week.
Law enforcement members and the community are welcome to attend the visitation or funeral.