ROCKFORD, Ill. (CBSNewYork/CBS Chicago) — A police officer in Rockford, Illinois was killed early Sunday and another person was found dead in a nearby vehicle when a traffic stop led to a reported shooting.
Rockford police Officer Jaimie Cox, 30, radioed for additional help shortly after making a traffic stop near State Street and Dawn Avenue, Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said during a news conference.
When the responding officers arrived, they discovered a single-vehicle crash about two blocks away from the initial traffic stop. Eddie Patterson, 49, was found dead inside the crashed vehicle.
Officers also located Cox, who was critically injured, at the scene of the crash. He was transported to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, where he died as a result of his injuries.
“Preliminary results of the investigation indicate that officer Cox was involved in a scuffle during the traffic stop that resulted in the officer becoming entangled in the suspect’s vehicle,” Chief O’Shea said. “It is believed that officer Cox fired his weapon during this incident.”
The cause of death for both Cox and Patterson have not yet been determined; autopsies are pending with the Winnebago County coroner’s office.
“We know many of you are asking what you can do,” O’Shea said. “Continue supporting us, pray for Jaimie, pray for his wife, pray for his family, and pray for us as we get through this difficult time.”
Rockford University Police & Department of Public Safety sent a text out to students and staff saying, “A suspect has taken a firearm from a police officer near Rockford University and is at large. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Stay inside. Lock your doors and do not open the door for anyone.”
Rockford police have not commented on if the suspect did in fact take Cox’s gun.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Officer Jaimie Cox,” Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said in a statement. “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.”
Prior to joining the Rockford PD, Cox served as part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, CBS Chicago reported.
The investigation continued late Sunday afternoon.