ROCKFORD, Ill. — Autopsies have revealed that a Rockford police officer died of blunt force trauma and a pickup driver was shot to death during an early morning traffic stop.
A spokeswoman for the city of Rockford says 30-year-old officer Jaimie Cox’s injuries may have been caused when the pickup crashed.
A separate autopsy shows that 49-year old Eddie Patterson Jr., is believed to have been shot by Cox. Patterson also was injured when the pickup crashed about 1 a.m. Sunday.
State police Sgt. Sam Thomas said Monday that Patterson’s driver’s license had been revoked and that Cox may have pulled him over after noticing license plates on the pickup “didn’t match the vehicle.”
Cox was found near the truck and pronounced dead at a hospital. Patterson’s body was inside the truck.
People in Rockford honored the officer Monday night at a vigil at a Rockford church.
The spot were Officer Cox was killed was marked with a memorial. A steady stream of people have come out to place flowers, cards, and ribbon at the scene.
The young officer’s death has rattled the police department and the entire community.
The minister of the church said while he didn’t know Officer Cox, he feels it’s his obligation to host the vigil and honor the officer’s life.
“When we see violence the coming together of compassion and justice and mercy for what happens afterward is a reminder that most people are good and want to do good and so this is important that we express our love and our support,” Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson said.
Visitation is scheduled from 3-9 p.m. on Friday at First Free Evangelical Church for Cox, the city of Rockford said in a news release. A police funeral service will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the church.
A fundraiser is being held on ThinBlueLineUSA.com in honor of Officer Cox. For $5, donors get a bracelet and the money will be donated to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.
For more information on ThinBlueLineUSA, visit their website.