ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - An autopsy lists the cause of death as homicide for a Zachary reserve police officer who died Monday night.
East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William "Beau" Clark released the autopsy for Christopher Lawton. The preliminary cause of death is blunt force injuries to the head and torso.
"It is with great sadness and respect we investigate any unexpected or traumatic death," Dr. Clark said. "When our investigation involves the death of a law enforcement officer, it is particularly tragic and we extend our thoughts and condolences to Christopher Lawton's family, friends, the Zachary Fire Department, the Zachary Police Department as well as the extended first responder community that is grieving his death."
Lawton wore many hats and served in numerous different roles in his jobs at the Zachary Fire Department, where he worked for 20 years, and on the city police force, where he answered the call to duty for nearly a decade. He was a decorated Deputy Chief and an arson investigator. Chief Danny Kimble says Lawton's smile could get almost anyone through a tough day.
"He was very dedicated. He believed in what he had done. He led by example," Kimble said.
As a reserve officer, Lawton served as a firearms instructor and as an undercover narcotics agent. Officials say he was working in that position Monday night when he responded to what would be his last call.
Chief David McDavid says Lawton became the first police officer in the history of his department to be killed in the line of duty.
At the young age of 41, Lawton is being remembered mostly as a family man and community servant.
Lawton leaves behind a wife, two children, his parents, and brothers and sisters.
Visitation will be held at Zachary United Methodist Church, 4205 Church Street, on Friday, March 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. The service will be held at noon on Saturday and the burial will be held at in Clinton.