Two St. Petersburg, Florida Officers Shot, Killed; Suspect Dead
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBS/WTSP/AP) Two St. Petersburg police officers were shot and killed, and an agent with the U.S. Marshals Service was injured during a firefight in the city's south side.
The suspect was found dead in his home after an hourlong standoff.
Police Chief Chuck Harmon confirmed both officers died from their injuries, while the U.S. Marshal is in stable condition, reports CBS affiliate WTSP. According to the Saint Petersburg Times, the Suncoast Benevolent Association President Mark Marland confirmed the fallen officers as Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz.
St. Petersburg Police spokesman Michael Puetz said the suspect was found dead when officers went into the home Monday afternoon, about six hours after the shootout. The suspect is believed to be 39-year-old Hydra Lacy, but authorities have not yet made a positive identification.
Much of the house was demolished by authorities in their search for the suspect.
Police say they came to the home searching for Hydra Lacy shortly before 8 a.m. Lacy is reportedly the brother of championship boxer Jeff Lacy.
Police say the shooting happened as St. Petersburg Police were investigating Lacy - a fugitive wanted for aggravated battery - and requested assistance from a regional task force. That task force provided one St. Petersburg Police officer, one U.S. Marshal, and one Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy to the effort.
Court records show Lacy failed to appear for a scheduled trial on an aggravated battery charge in November. State records show Lacy has a lengthy record that includes convictions for sexual battery and other violent crimes.
Investigators said they were at the home to interview a woman with ties to Lacy, and did not expect the suspect to be there at the time. St. Petersburg Police spokesman Michael Puetz says Lacy was hiding in the attic and opened fire on the officers.
Officials say during the initial confrontation, the U.S. Marshals agent and one police officer were shot. Backup officers went in and managed to pull the two wounded men out, but a member of the backup group - another St. Petersburg Police officer - was shot in the attic.
That officer reportedly continued to engage with the suspect while still holed up in the attic. A tactical team was able to punch a hole into the building with an armored vehicle and pull the officer out.
A woman who was inside the house at the time is safe and is currently being questioned by investigators.
The shooting comes four days after two Miami-Dade County detectives were killed by a murder suspect they were trying to arrest. That suspect was killed by another detective.
Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio issued a statement saying, "On behalf of the City of Tampa, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of the officers, the larger family of the St. Petersburg Police Department, and to all the citizens of our sister city."
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