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Mayor says he decided to knock down home

6:39 AM, Jan 26, 2011   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- Mayor Bill Foster says it was his decision to have the house razed where two police officers were fatally shot

But Foster also says it is his intention to make Christine Lacy whole. "The city will assume an obligation," Foster told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

Foster says the home at 3734 28th Ave. S. presented a health risk and, in his opinion, could not be salvaged.

He also told reporters he did not want the home to serve as a reminder of what happened at the residence.

"I didn't want the community to have this constant reminder of extreme loss."

Foster says he called Lacy twice on Tuesday and considered her a victim.

"There's no indication that she is (culpable). The investigation will continue but, as of the incidents yesterday, it is my understanding that she cooperated. There was never a moment where she tried to conceal (Hydra) Lacy's identity or whereabouts."

Officials were looking for Christine Lacy's husband, Hydra Lacy Jr., when they went to the home Monday morning. Shortly after officials learned Hydra Lacy was hiding in the attic, gun fire erupted, killing two St. Petersburg police officers.

The officers have been identified as 48-year-old Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and 39-year-old K-9 officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz.

A third man, a deputy U.S. Marshal, was also injured in the shootout but is expected to recover.

The debris from the home was transported to city property near Lake Maggorrie where detectives have been sifting through it for clues.

Police Chief Chuck Harmon says investigators have already found two handguns in the debris, both of which may have been used by Hydra Lacy.

Foster says investigators are also saving any personal effects they find in the debris and will return them to Christine Lacy.

"She lost everything she owns, everything. I recognize that wholeheartedly and will assume responsibility in the fact that she lost everything and we will take care of her," Foster said.

Records from the Pinellas County Appraiser's Office indicate the 1,464-square foot home was valued at almost $96,000.

Preston Rudie, 10 News

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