La. deputy fire chief, part-time cop dies in hit-and-run

Zachary Deputy Fire Chief Christopher Lawton was run over by a U-Haul truck in a Walmart parking lot while working undercover

By FireRescue1 Staff

ZACHARY, La. — A deputy fire chief and part-time police officer was killed in a hit-and-run Monday while working undercover.

The Advocate reported that Deputy Fire Chief Christopher Lawton was working with another Zachary police officer at a Walmart store as part of a felony drug investigation when he was hit by a U-Haul truck in the parking lot.

"Chris was a hard worker and a dedicated fireman," Zachary Fire Chief Danny Kimble said. "And a family man, he believed very much in his family."

Chief Kimble added that Chief Lawton, who was recently honored for 20 years in the fire service, was dedicated to “just being a public servant, giving back to his community.”

"Chris was a leader to the men below him, he was a leader for the fire service," Chief Kimble said. "Chris was very dependable, if he told you he was going to do something, you could count on it going to happen."

All flags were ordered to be flown at half-staff by Mayor Sharon Weston Broome to honor Chief Lawton.

"I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of the Zachary firefighter and policeman who lost his life while bravely serving his community," Mayor Broome said. "I join all of East Baton Rouge Parish in expressing my gratitude for his service, and offer up prayers for his family, his fellow first responders, and to all those who knew him. Our hearts go out to the Zachary community."

Albert Franklin and Ashley Chaney were both arrested in connection with the hit-and-run, according to East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Casey Rayborn Hicks.


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