St. Petersburg Police Shooting: Mayor Bill Foster calls it a "dark day" for city

6:56 PM, Jan 24, 2011   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - Mayor Bill Foster calls it is a dark day for the city.

Police Chief Chuck Harmon says it is a chief's worst nightmare.

The two men made their comments shortly after it was announced Monday that two veteran police officers had been killed while trying to serve a warrant earlier in the day.

Photo Gallery: Pictures from the scene of the shooting

A third man, a U.S. Marshal, was also injured in the shoot-out that, according to officials, involved suspect Hydra Lacy, Jr.

"This is devastating to me...this is something you never hope to face," Harmon told reporters.

"Today our city mourns and grieves and we pray for the family members," Foster added.

The officers killed have been identified as 48-year old Tom Baitinger and 39-year old Jeffrey Yaslowitz.

Baitinger joined the St. Petersburg Police Department in 1996 and leaves a wife behind according to the chief.  While Yaslowitz was hired in 1999 and was married with three kids.

Leave your condolences for the fallen police officers

The identity of the U.S. Marshal has not yet been released, but authorities say he was shot twice and will survive. A spokesperson says he is currently in good condition at Bayfront Medical Center and could be going home soon.

Harmon says the officers died heroes, adding they were trying to take somebody off the street who needed to be taken off the street.

Monday afternoon, police confirmed Lacy was found dead inside the house where the shootout occurred.

Harmon said Lacy ambushed the officers and "had killing those officers on his mind."

The Chief says he heard at 150 to 200 shots exchanged during Monday's shootout.

Lacy is the brother of former International Boxing Federation super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy.

Preston Rudie, 10 News

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