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EXCLUSIVE: Grandmother of Tyler Calamese speaks to KATV

The grandmother of 18-year-old Tyler Calamese, who is being held in connection to the death of Newport Lt. Patrick Weatherford, speaks exclusively to KATV (Photo: KATV)

Janet Reynolds says her grandson, 18-year-old Tyler Calamese, is being held by Newport Police in connection to the shooting death of Lt. Patrick Weatherford.

Despite what investigators think, Reynolds insists Calamese is innocent. She says shooting an officer doesn’t sound like something the 18-year-old incoming high school senior would do.

“Tyler is an easy-going person,” said Reynolds. “He didn’t meddle with people he didn’t start fights, and for them to say that he did this is just not--it’s not true. It’s not Tyler.”

According to Arkansas State Police, Lt. Weatherford was shot and killed in a driveway near Remmel Park in Newport on Monday afternoon.

Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies searched the area, looking for a suspect.

Reynolds says Calamese was at the Harmony Homes Apartments at the time Lt. Weatherford was shot, but turned himself in to clear his name.

“He wasn’t worried about it,” said Reynolds. “He said ‘I ain’t got nothing to hide. I’ll just put on my shirt and turn myself in.’”

Reynolds believes Calamese is taking the fall for the real shooter.

“I believe he’s been threatened by the person that did this,” said Reynolds.

Tuesday afternoon, Channel 7 news witnessed a dive team searching Newport Lake, reportedly for a gun used in the shooting.

Reynolds believes her grandson will be cleared.

Calamese is scheduled to be in Jackson County District Court at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.

In a news advisory Tuesday night, Arkansas State Police say "Calamese will be before the court related to an on-going criminal investigation related to the Weather homicide."

However, the advisory also states "As of 7 PM Tuesday night, no formal criminal charges have been filed in connection with the murder of Newport Police Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford."

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