Baton Rouge law enforcement leaders give emotional tribute to fallen officers

Law enforcement officials praise heroic actions of fallen officers

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - State and local law enforcement leaders were visibly shaken and emotional at a Monday press conference, a day after a gunman opened fire on Baton Rouge police officers and deputies.

"They didn't run, they didn't go to the other direction, they didn't blow it off. They went straight to it. And I could not be more prouder of these officers," said Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie, choking up on the last words.

Governor John Bel Edwards at one point had tears in his eyes. He comes from a family with an extensive law enforcement history.

"The actions of the law enforcement officers of the Baton Rouge community yesterday were nothing short of heroic. They ran towards danger in order to protect the public. They ran towards danger in order to render aid to fellow officers," Edwards said.

The shooting left three officers dead. Each were remembered Monday for making the ultimate sacrifice for a community they loved.

Dabadie trained Officer Montrell Jackson at the police academy. He left behind a four-month-old child.

"Montrell stood tall everyday, he never wavered, he never quit. His heart was in service to this community," Dabadie said.

Officer Matthew Gerald was a former Marine who graduated from the Baton Rouge Police Academy in March.

"He spent his whole life serving this country and our city, he's a hero for everything he's done," Dabadie said.

Deputy Brad Garafola was remembered as a devoted family man. He worked for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office for more than two decades.

"Garafola died attempting to get a fallen Baton Rouge officer to render aid. Deputy Garafola died as a hero," said Sheriff Sid Gautreaux with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.

In closing, Gautreaux again asked for prayers as the healing process begins.

"I ask this community to continue to keep them and their families in their prayers. And I ask this community to continue to pray for peace. We will get through this, Baton Rouge is better than this," Geatreaux said.

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