Reserve ZPD Officer killed in the line of duty remembered as a 'double hero'
ZACHARY- The Mayor, Zachary Police Chief, Zachary Fire Chief, and others were united in grief Tuesday, following the death of a reserve officer described as a selfless public servant.
Christopher Lawton was killed Monday night, as he executed a high-risk warrant in Baker. Lawton was run over by a U-Haul truck. Investigators say it was driven by Albert Franklin who was wanted for allegedly beating his girlfriend with an AR-15 assault rifle.
Lawton was a reserve officer for the Zachary Police Department, and a full-time District Fire Chief for the Zachary Police Department. Tuesday, two different agencies wore a black piece of fabric over their badges.
"Chris Lawton was a giving person, was always trying to give back to his city and community," Zachary Fire Chief Danny Kimble said. "He was always there for everyone. Chris Lawton was a dedicated employee and family man."
Lawton leaves behind a wife and two children. He will be remembered for always giving back to the community, and his dedication.
"To me in my book, he was a double hero," Police Chief David McDavid said. "He was a firefighter and a policeman. He served his community well and couldn't ask for a better employee on my end."
McDavid said today needed to be about Lawton but was quick to point out that he believed his death can be attributed to a failure of the system. Albert Franklin was well known to authorities. Despite having multiple arrests, he always managed to bond out of jail on reduced bonds set by 19th Judicial District Judge Trudy White.
"The system failed Chris Lawton," McDavid said. "This guy shouldn't have been on the street, but I want you to honor Chris Lawton. That's who we are here to honor today."
Zachary Mayor David Amrhein said Lawton was the first police officer to die in the line of duty in the city's history.
"I hope and pray this is the last one lost in the city of Zachary," Amrhein said.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office reports an autopsy was performed Wednesday. Lawton was 41 years old.
The following are the arrangements for Lawton:
Visitation: Friday 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Zachary United Methodist Church
Visitation: Saturday 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Services: Promptly at 12:00 and procession to follow services
Burial: 488 McKnight Road Clinton, La. 70722
The Baton Rouge Firefighters Local 557 has opened an account at BRFDFCU for anyone that would like to make a donation to the family of Zachary Deputy Chief Christopher Lawton- account 6090-B. It will be open for 30 days. On April 10 all donations collected will be dispersed to the family.