Hundreds gather in Baton Rouge for funeral of officer killed in shooting

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Law enforcement and loved ones join memorial for Brad Garafola: My deputy went down fighting, says sheriff

killed in shooting

The funeral of Brad Garafola, one of three officers killed in the Baton Rouge police shooting, took place in the Louisiana city on Saturday.

Hundreds of loved ones and fellow law enforcement said farewell to the 45-year-old sheriffs deputy, as the funeral procession moved past the convenience store outside which he was killed.

Garafola, a father of four children aged from seven to 21, served in the East Baton Rouge Parish sheriffs office for 24 years.

A self-professed black separatist shot six officers last Sunday, wounding three as he targeted the men with chilling, sheer brutality, law enforcement authorities said afterwards.

Two of the three wounded officers have been released from the hospital, one after reconstructive surgery on an arm. The third remained in critical condition. The gunman was shot dead by a police Swat team.

Garafola took cover behind a dumpster when the shooting began, but was killed after he went to the aid of two Baton Rouge police officers Montrell Jackson, 32, and Matthew Gerald, 41 who also died in the attack.

Garafolas boss, the East Baton Rouge sheriff, Sid Gautreaux, described to reporters how he could see Garafola on surveillance video, firing at the gunman as bullets hit the concrete around him.

My deputy went down fighting, the sheriff said. He returned fire to the very end.

Garafolas funeral, at Istrouma Baptist church, included a 21-gun salute and a horse-drawn carriage procession.

Killing is not going to solve this, says family of Baton Rouge officer fatally shot video
Gerald was laid to rest on Friday, with hundreds turning out to commemorate the rookie officer. Jacksons funeral will take place on Monday.

The shooting in Baton Rouge came at a time of racial tension in the city and country after a black man was shot and killed during a confrontation with two white police officers outside a convenience store in the city.

The next day, a black man in Minnesota was shot and killed by police, and his girlfriend livestreamed the aftermath on Facebook. The day after that, a black gunman in Dallas opened fire during a protest against the Minnesota and Baton Rouge shootings. Five police officers were killed.

About an hour before the Baton Rouge shooting, Garafola texted Tonja, his wife of 15 years: Good morning my love. I love you. It was supposed to be his last shift before a family vacation.

He was a great guy. Not just a great law enforcement [officer], he was a great husband and a great father, his wife told the Advocate. He didnt deserve this. He always helped everybody.

 

 

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/23/baton-rouge-officer-funeral-brad-garafola