ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- In a press conference Thursday morning, Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato announces results in the November 2017 deaths of Rockford Officer Jaimie Cox, 30, and Eddie Patterson, 49.
According to investigators with the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force, Officer Jaimie Cox was justified in his use of deadly force during the traffic stop.
Investigators say in a review of the evidence, Officer Cox attempted to pull over Patterson in his 1994 Chevrolet pick-up truck near East State St. and Dawn Ave. Officer Cox relayed information that he was pulling Patterson over for driving on a revoked driver's license and driving with expired plates.
According to police, Patterson's truck was found by responding officers about two blocks north of the original traffic stop near the parking lot of the Unitarian Universalist Church.
Responding officers say Cox was found several feet from the truck with critical injuries. He was transported to OSF Saint Anthony Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The body of Eddie Patterson was found slumped over in the cab of the pick-up truck, he was pronounced dead.
Investigators say Officer Cox's service weapon, baseball hat and uniform patch were found in the front cab of the truck. DNA evidence of Cox was also found on the gear shift of the truck. Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato says investigators believe Cox was attempting to shift the truck into park.
The integrity task force also reveals Officer Cox carried two handcuffs, one of those pairs had been removed. Investigators believe Cox was in the process of attempting to arrest Patterson.
Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea first reported on November 5, 2017 Officer Cox died at OSF Saint Anthony after becoming entangled in Patterson's car during an early morning traffic stop.
The traffic stop happened just after 1 a.m. near East State St. and Dawn Ave. Shortly after making a call for the traffic stop, Officer Cox called for assistance. Responding officers found a single car crash about two blocks north of the original stop. There they found Officer Cox critically injured. Patterson was found dead in the car.
Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz released initial autopsy results on November 6, 2017. In his report, Officer Cox's death was ruled a homicide. He died from blunt force trauma believed to be from the crash. Patterson died from a gunshot wound. The coroner's report revealed the bullet was likely to have been fired from Officer Cox's gun.
Due to the use of force, the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force was activated as part of the investigation.
Chief Dan O'Shea and Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara issued a joint statement following the news conference:
“Today is a difficult day for the City of Rockford and the Rockford Police Department. The Winnebago & Boone County Integrity Task Force released its report in the deaths of Officer Jaimie Cox and Eddie Patterson on November 5, 2017. The task force found that Officer Cox acted appropriately and was justified in his use of deadly force during the traffic stop that ultimately resulted in his death and the death of Mr. Patterson.
With these findings, our community is once again reminded of the risks that our brave first responders face when they report to work each day and night. We are also reminded of the sacrifices their families make so our community is safe for all of us. We know that their family and friends form a strong foundation that allows them to serve and protect the residents of our city.
With this announcement, we hope the community comes together as we did last November during one of the most trying times in our history.
We appreciate the work of the task force members who devoted countless hours to this investigation and will continue our own work to make Rockford a safer community for everyone.”