Reserve police officer and firefighter killed in hit and run

Christopher M. Lawton. Photo courtesy WBRZ

BAKER, LA – A reserve police officer with the Zachary Police Department died last night after he was run over by a U-Haul truck in a shopping center parking lot.

Christopher M. Lawton, who was also a full-time firefighter for the city of Zachary, died at the scene after he was pinned between the truck and grocery cart equipment, according to ABC affiliate WBRZ.

Lawton was attempting to arrest 33-year-old Albert Franklin and 30-year-old Ashley Chaney, who were sitting in the cab of the U-Haul.

Franklin, who had active warrants, was attempting to flee the scene when Lawton was pulled beneath the wheels of the truck, according to WBRZ.

Lawton was pronounced dead at the scene.

Franklin and Chaney were later arrested after they tried to hide the truck.

Franklin faces charges of first-degree murder, hit and run, damage to property, and fugitive from Zachary Police Department, while Chaney is charged with obstruction of justice, according to WBRZ.

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome released a the following statement:

I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of the Zachary firefighter and policeman who lost his life while bravely serving his community. 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. In honor of our fallen first responder, I have ordered all flags be flown at half-staff through Saturday at all City-Parish buildings and grounds.