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Deputy U.S. Marshal Scott Ley (U.S. Marshals Service), Sergeant Karl Lounge Jr., Officers Timothy McClintick, Max McDonald and Douglas Weaver, fallen Sergeant Thomas Baitinger and fallen Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz (St. Petersburg Police Department, FL)


On January 24, 2011, a Federal Fugitive Task Force arrived at a residence in St. Petersburg, Florida in an attempt to locate a violent fugitive who had been on the run for several months. The fugitive's wife eventually advised officers that he was hiding in the attic of the house.

Additional units were called to the house to help secure the perimeter. After the fugitive failed to respond to any attempts to establish contact, Officer Yaslowitz and U.S. Marshal Ley obtained a ladder and entered the attic. They located the fugitive lying face down about 15 feet from the attic opening. The fugitive was initially compliant, but as Officer Yaslowitz attempted to handcuff him, the fugitive began to aggressively resist arrest.

During the struggle, Marshal Ley deployed his Taser before hearing a single muffled shot followed by three additional shots. Officer Yaslowitz collapsed and Marshal Ley was shot twice, causing him to fall through the attic opening onto the floor below.

During the ensuing minutes, the fugitive continuously fired multiple rounds through the ceiling at the officers below. Officer McClintick saw wounded Marshal Ley on the floor; he grabbed Marshal Ley's foot and tried to drag him into the bathroom. Unable to get enough leverage, Officer McClintick came out into the hallway, directly under the attic opening and under fire, to grab Marshal Ley and pull him into the bathroom. There, he performed lifesaving measures to control the bleeding of Marshal Ley while continuing to provide cover from the assailant.

The assailant moved Officer Yaslowitz's body to the attic opening, and positioned him so that his foot protruded over the opening.  This was an apparent attempt to lure responding officers into the open. It was later learned he had tied Officer Yaslowitz's body in place so it could not be moved, while he continued to wait in ambush. Officers could hear the assailant moving around in the attic, firing at any movement he heard below.

Outside the house, a Rapid Response Team including Sergeant Baitinger, Sergeant Lounge, Officer McDonald, and Officer Weaver quickly assembled to rescue the officers inside. The only information they had was that multiple officers inside the house had been shot and were trapped, perhaps as hostages, and the suspect or suspects were still inside the house. Sergeant Baitinger, a Rapid Response instructor, recognized that he was the best qualified to handle carrying the ballistic shield and to lead the entry.

Sergeant Baitinger and Officer Weaver moved into the hallway at the far end of the house and observed the open attic and a step stool under it. Another officer positioned by the front door, warned that the assailant and Officer Yaslowitz were in the attic, and the assailant had been shooting down through the ceiling.

Sergeant Lounge and Officer McDonald covered the hallway and attic opening from the living room. Sergeant Baitinger put the shield over his head and passed under the attic opening into the threshold of the bedroom at the end of the hall. As Sergeant Baitinger entered the area, a hail of gunfire erupted from the attic above. The other officers in the house reported that Sergeant Baitinger was struck once in the back, with the round being stopped by his vest. The impact knocked him forward and spun him around. He brought up the shield and yelled, "I'm hit, I'm OK, I can see Yaz in the attic, get him out!" Another burst of gunfire rained down from the attic and Sergeant Baitinger was fatally wounded by a round passing over the shield.

During this extensive gun battle, all the involved officers continued to come under fire by the assailant. Sergeant Baitinger, Sergeant Lounge, Officer Weaver, Officer McDonald, and Officer McClintick each demonstrated incredible courage and professionalism under very difficult circumstances. They braved heavy gunfire while attempting to rescue the wounded officers, with Sergeant Baitinger making the supreme sacrifice. Officer McClintick braved heavy gunfire, moving into the kill zone, directly under the attic opening where two officers had already been shot and another was killed, to rescue the wounded U.S. Deputy Marshal. The incident ended when the assailant was killed during an exchange of gunfire with the St. Petersburg Police Department's Tactical Apprehension and Control Team on scene.