Former world champion Jeff Lacy has released a statement on the terrible tragedy that struck the St. Petersburg, Florida community this past Monday. Lacy’s older brother Hydra Lacy Jr, was involved in a shootout with police in which St. Petersburg Police Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Office Jeffrey Yaslowitz were killed. Hydra Lacy Jr. also died during the shootout. Police in St. Petersburg had been looking for Hydra Lacy, Jr. since November after he skipped out on a trial for a 2009 domestic violence charge.
The 33 year old Jeff Lacy is a lifelong resident of St. Petersburg. He had left Florida two days prior to Monday’s tragedy for a previously scheduled surgical procedure and will be returning as soon as his doctor clears him to fly.
“I know this is an emotional time for everyone. I want to send my deepest sympathy to the families and loved ones of Sgt. Tom Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz. I am truly sorry for your loss and cannot imagine the anger and pain you are feeling.”
“Unfortunately I was not in touch with my brother. I’m not sure if it could have been prevented, but I have always believed that almost any horrible tragedy can be prevented. My first reaction is probably like many others,that this should not have happened, but again, I am not in any position to comment on such a devastating loss.”
“What’s important now is that I recognize that children have lost their father,wives have lost their husbands, mothers and fathers have lost their sons, and those that serve our community and protect us have lost partners and brothers. I think that is what is bothering me most, knowing that my brother created this suffering and trying to understand why he acted this way has left me at one of the saddest moments of my life.”
“Losing our oldest brother is very hard to handle as anyone would expect. However, losing a family member, friend or loved one under these circumstances has made me really think a lot about my family and the families of the officers. Not being back home does not make this any easier because I know that a community that I care for and people I know and who know me are hurting. I’m hopeful we all find that place again as a community, where we can look in the mirror and see ourselves smiling again.”