Manhunt underway after fatal shooting of Arkansas police officer

iStock/Thinkstock(NEWPORT, Ark.) -- Authorities are asking for the public's help locating a suspect in the fatal shooting of an Arkansas police lieutenant Monday night.

Lt. Patrick Weatherford, 41, was shot in the line of duty at around 7:30 p.m. on Monday in Newport, a city about 90 miles northeast of Little Rock, state police said.

The 15-year veteran of the Newport Police Department was rushed to a local hospital shortly after the incident, where he later died.

Weatherford was named Jackson County’s Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the year in 2016, according to Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

"Lt. Weatherford was known for routinely preventing incidents and altercations from escalating into crisis," Rutledge said in a statement released via Twitter early Tuesday morning.

“And I have no doubt that Lt. Weatherford began his watch today with the same mission to protect and serve the community he loved so much," she said, adding that his "young family and his fellow officers" were grieving.

The Little Rock Police Department tweeted a picture of the slain officer late Monday night and asked the public to pray for the officer’s family and friends.

A search for a suspect is underway and the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division has taken lead on the investigation, according to authorities.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the Remmel Park area where the officer was shot and K9s were deployed in the search, according to a reporter for ABC’s Little Rock affiliate KATV.

The reporter noted that a house has been taped off in connection with the investigation.

The Newport Police Department said anyone with information on the case should call the department at (870) 523-2722.

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