Rockford police officer killed in the line of duty Sunday morning


UPDATE - 12:30 PM Sunday: The Rockford Police Department has released more information about the death of Officer Jaimie Cox while on duty overnight. 

During a press conference at police headquarters Sunday afternoon, Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea says Officer 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, 49-year-old Eddie Patterson, dead inside the crashed vehicle. Officers also found Cox at the scene of the crash, 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. 

The cause of death for both Cox and Patterson have not been determined and autopsies are pending. 

Because police believe Officer Cox fired his weapon, the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force has been called in to investigate. 

During the press conference Chief O'Shea called Office Cox "a great kid," saying "words don't describe it. It is beyond difficult. We are all family. It hurts."

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. 

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