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Indiana man charged in killing of police officer

By Mary Wisniewski

GARY Ind. (Reuters) - A 25-year-old Indiana man was charged on Thursday in the fatal shooting of a Gary, Indiana, police officer in his patrol car earlier this month, city officials said.

Carl Blount of Gary was charged with the murder of Jeffrey Westerfield, 47, who had served on the Gary Police Department for 19 years and was on duty when he was shot.

Westerfield's body was found in his patrol car by a fellow officer early on the morning of July 6.

"I hope this brings a certain amount of relief to the family and the men and women of the Gary Police Department," said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson in a statement.

The last Gary police officer killed in the line of duty was in 2007, when an officer's car crashed during a pursuit, according to the Post-Tribune.

A Gary spokeswoman said no bond had been set in the case. She did not know if Blount had a lawyer yet.

Blount admitted to a witness that he had shot Westerfield "while the officer's attention was diverted," according to a police affidavit.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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