2 police officers, suspect killed

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Two police officers and a suspect were fatally shot and a U.S. marshal injured Monday in a shootout in a St. Petersburg, Fla., neighborhood, officials said.

The officers were shot Monday morning after approaching a home where suspect-shooting victim Hydra Lacy Jr. was being served a domestic violence warrant, the St. Petersburg Times reported.


Suncoast Benevolent Association President Mark Marland identified the slain officers as Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz.

"Our community has suffered a loss today," St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon said during a news conference with Mayor Bill Foster outside of Bayfront Medical Center, where the law enforcement personnel were taken.

The police officers were shot after approaching a home where Lacy, a known sex offender, was being served the warrant. A marshal who responded to the scene also was shot and is expected to survive.

The victims became the first police officers killed in the line of duty in St. Petersburg since 1980, Harmon said.

Neighborhood residents said they heard shots from the house about 4 a.m.

Officers initially went to the home to interview the suspect's girlfriend at 7 a.m., police said. After it became clear the suspect was in the attic and armed, more officers arrived and the scene was barricaded in a several-block radius. At 9:20 a.m., more shots could be heard coming from the house.


Shortly after the last injured officer was removed from the house to be transported to the hospital, Harmon said, "It doesn't look good."

A nearby middle school was on lockout, school officials said.

State records listed Lacy as a sex offender as of March 2004.

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