AP – An armed police officer stands near rescue vehicles about a block away from where a U.S. Marshal and …
By TAMARA LUSH and MITCH STACY, Associated Press Tamara Lush And Mitch Stacy, Associated Press – 55 mins ago
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A man hiding in the attic of a home sparked an intense firefight with authorities trying to arrest him on a warrant Monday morning, killing two officers and wounding a deputy U.S. Marshal, police said.
St. Petersburg Police Chief Chuck Harmon said more than 100 rounds were fired during the shootout, which was the latest in a recent rash of shootings across the nation that have killed or wounded law enforcement officers.
The officers had come to arrest Hydra Lacy Jr., 39, on an aggravated battery charge, and investigators believe he is the one who opened fire on the officers, police spokesman Michael Puetz said. He said Lacy had a long record that includes convictions for armed robbery and sexual battery.
As of midday, the shooter was still barricaded inside the home, police said.
“He was somebody we wanted to get off the streets, ” Harmon said. “Who expects to walk into a house and get gunfire from the attic?”
Harmon would not identify the dead officers pending notification of their relatives.
The marshal was shot twice but was doing fine, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Tom Figmik said.
When the officers and the marshal arrived at the house, they were told by a woman that Lacy was in the attic. The three called for backup, and at that point, one officer and the marshal were shot, Puetz said. He said the other officer was shot while he tried to rescue the wounded men.
Puetz said authorities had sporadic contact with the suspect and had cut off the home’s electricity and water.
“We are taking this slowly and methodically,” he said.
Earlier, police used a vehicle to punch a hole in the wall to get to one of the officers who later died, Puetz said.
Another police spokesman at the scene, Bill Proffitt, said it was possible the suspect used one of the officers’ guns during the struggle in the attic.
Police said the woman at the house was safe and with officers.
The home, situated in a middle-class neighborhood on the south side of St. Petersburg, was listed in Lacy’s name, according to property records. After the shootout, a Department of Homeland Security armored tactical vehicle was parked nearby, as dozens of law enforcement officers congregated on nearby streets.
Court records show Lacy failed to show for his scheduled trial Nov. 1 on the aggravated battery charge, and an arrest warrant was issued the next day.
State records show Lacy has a lengthy record, including 1989 convictions for armed burglary, resisting arrest with violence and other charges. He was released from prison 1991. In 1992, he was convicted of sexual battery with a weapon or force and false imprisonment of a child. He was released in from prison 2001. Details on those convictions were not immediately available.
Monday’s shooting is the latest in a string of shootings of police officers and 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.
The officers were being remembered Monday at a funeral, where news of Monday’s shooting added to the grief already palpable among the thousands gathered at American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami.
On Sunday, a man opened fire inside a Detroit police precinct, wounding four officers including a commander before he was shot and killed by police. Authorities said the gunman walked in just after 4 p.m. and fired indiscriminately. The officers’ injuries were not considered life-threatening, said Police Chief Ralph Godbee.
And on Monday, a Lincoln City, Ore., police officer was critically wounded when he was shot during a traffic stop. Oregon State Police said the officer had pulled the suspect over for speeding.
Associated Press writer Christine Armario contributed to this report from Miami.