Baton Rouge, Louisiana
July 17, 2016
Killed while serving as a policeman. Served 3 tours in Iraq.
|From The Washington Post washingtonpost.com 07/17/16
Slain Baton Rouge officer Matthew Gerald served in the Marines and the Army before becoming a cop
By Jessica Contrera
Matthew Gerald, a 41-year-old father of two, was one of the three police officers killed in a shooting in Baton Rouge on Sunday morning. Gerald’s father confirmed his son’s death by phone Sunday afternoon.
Before joining the Baton Rouge Police Department last year, Gerald served in both the Marines and the Army. He deployed to Iraq three times, his friends said.
“Matt was the kind of guy that you knew immediately when he entered the room,” said Ryan D. Cabral, who served with Gerald in Iraq. “Whether it was the energy he carried with him or that Cajun accent he had . . . maybe it was the Marine in him.”
When Gerald was excited about something, you would be, too, Cabral said. When he called after Louisiana State University football games, Cabral could tell just by the sound of his voice whether the Tigers had been victorious. Gerald filled his Facebook page with testaments to patriotism: American flags, police badges and photos from his service. He loved to spend his free time with his wife and two daughters, as well as fishing on his bass boat. He once took apart and rebuilt the engine just to make it louder.
Cabral, now a police officer in Texas, described Gerald and his fellow officers as “made to serve the people.”
“We did our time in the military, and when that time was up, you just can’t turn off that want to serve the people,” he said. “Today he did his final service by giving his life to protect the citizens of Baton Rouge and his fellow brothers and sisters in uniform.”
Nick Lambert, who also served with Gerald in the Army, said it is heartbreaking that this is the way his friend died.
“After three tours, not a scratch on him. Comes back home, chooses a job to serve others, and this is what our society does?” Lambert said. “It’s a coward’s way to make a statement.”
|From People Magazine people.com 07/17/16
Second Victim of Baton Rouge Shooter Identified as Rookie Cop and Marine Matthew Gerald
BY CHRISTINE PELISEK 07/17/2016 AT 09:15 PM EDT
One of the three officers slain Sunday morning has been identified as a rookie police officer who just graduated from the police academy in March.
According to CNN, The Washington Post and USA Today, Matthew Gerald, 41, of Denham Springs was killed during the shooting spree that also left three officers injured, one of them in critical condition.
Gerald, an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department, was a Marine and former Black Hawk crew chief in the US Army. He was married with two children.
Also identified as a victim was 32-year-old Baton Rouge Police Department Officer Montrell L. Jackson. East Baton Rouge Sheriff's deputy Brad Garafola was also killed, The Advocate, CNN and WITN report.
According to the New York Times Jackson commented on the recent killing of Alton B. Sterling in Baton Rouge, which led to nationwide protests.
"I'm tired physically and emotionally," Jackson, 32, reportedly wrote on July 8. "I swear to God I love this city, but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform, I get nasty hateful looks, and out of uniform some consider me a threat. I've experienced so much in my short life and these last 3 days have tested me to the core."
"This city MUST and WILL get better," he continued, according to screenshots taken from his page and the Times. "I'm working in these streets so any protesters, officers, friends, family or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer. I got you."
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At 9 a.m. police received a call of a "suspicious person" walking down Airline Highway with a gun. The suspect, who was later identified as 29-year-old Gavin Long of Kansas City, Mo., opened fire when police arrived on the scene. He later died in a shootout with police.
At a press conference Sunday afternoon, Gov. John Bel Edwards said: "The violence and the hatred just has to stop."
"These men, risking their lives to protect and serve, were taken out the way they were," Edwards said. "They are the real life, everyday heroes."
"There simply is no place for more violence," he continued. "We are not going to tolerate more hate and violence tearing apart the families and communities of Louisiana."
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