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Slain Florida Officers Ambushed by Gunman Hiding In Attic

January 24, 2011  | 

St. Petersburg PD's Sgt. Tom Baitinger (left) and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz were ambushed by a suspect hiding in an attic. Photo courtesy of St. Petersburg PD.

Two St. Petersburg (Fla.) Police officers were killed Monday, while backing up a U.S. Marshal serving a warrant for the apprehension of a sexual offender.

Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz, 39, and Sgt. Tom Baitinger, 48, accompanied a U.S. Marshal, who was shot twice during the same incident and is expected to survive. The officers arrived at the residence of Hydra Lacy Jr., and were let in by a woman who told them Lacy was armed and hiding in the attic.

After talking with Lacy, the Marshal entered the attic and was shot in his ballistic vest. Lacy then fired at the officers, striking Yaslowitz first, and then Baitinger, who was providing cover.

The agency deployed an armored tactical vehicle to extract Yaslowitz. Lacy was found dead, after the house was partially dismantled using heavy machinery.

Sgt. Baitinger became the first St. Petersburg officer killed on duty since 1980. Officer Yaslowitz had just finished his shift and was driving home, when he decided to respond to the call.

"Our community has suffered a loss today," St. Petersburg Chief Chuck Harmon said during a somber press conference outside of Bayfront Medical Center.

Read the full story at

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