Middleton native killed in Florida shootout - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Middleton native killed in Florida shootout

Courtesy of The Officer Down Memorial Page Courtesy of The Officer Down Memorial Page

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WKOW) -- One of the two officers, shot and killed in an intense gunfight with a fugitive hiding in his attic, had ties to Wisconsin.

St. Petersburg officer Tom Baitinger, 41, was born in Middleton and worked at the Middleton Police Department as a dispatcher and served as a deputy at the Dane County Sheriff's Department before moving to work at the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Attorney General Pam Bondi says Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz were killed Monday when law enforcement agents tried to arrest 39-year-old Hydra Lacy Jr. on an aggravated battery charge.

Police believe Lacy opened fire on the agents and was later found dead in the home after a long standoff with police.

A U.S. marshal who was hurt in the incident remains in the hospital in stable condition.

Lacy had a long and violent criminal record including a sexual battery conviction. Court records show Lacy missed his Nov. 1 battery trial.

Baitinger's family released a statement Monday night:

"Our son, brother, uncle, husband and friend Thomas John Baitinger will be missed by all who knew him. He is a true hero who loved his work and truly loved his wife and family. Tom died doing what he did best -- helping people, and keeping people safe. He will be missed by his family, friends, and those who worked with him in the St. Petersburg Police Department, the Dane County Sheriff's Department, and the Middleton Police Department."

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