ROCKFORD — Authorities are investigating the deaths of a police officer and a driver who were found dead after an apparent altercation during a traffic stop.
Police said Eddie Patterson, 49, was driving with a revoked license in a truck with expired license plates Sunday morning when he was pulled over by 30-year-old Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox, the Rockford Register Star reported.
Cox was found entangled in the truck, which had crashed into a tree, and Patterson was found with multiple gunshot wounds. Investigators believe Cox opened fire at Patterson, but it’s unclear when.
Detectives with the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force will examine physical evidence to determine the sequence of events because no useful video footage has been found from the incident. Detectives will also be conducting additional interviews and waiting for the results of a detailed crash reconstruction, said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Sam Thomas, commander of the task force.
“We are still trying to wade through all the information and see how everything meshes together to see if we can get answers,” Thomas said.
Patterson’s family said they want answers as to what happened. The family said Patterson was unarmed and had been on the right side of the law for nearly a decade.
“I know my brother,” said Jossie Patterson. “He was not a bad guy. Anyone who knew Eddie knew he was a good person.”
A visitation for Cox is scheduled for Friday, with a funeral and formal procession scheduled for Saturday.