House where two St. Petersburg police officers fatally shot demolished

ST. PETERSBURG — The house where two St. Petersburg officers were fatally shot Monday is gone.

Crews tore down the home Monday night and took the rubble to an off-site location to be combed for evidence.

Police demolished the house at 3734 28th Ave. S with armored vehicles Monday during a standoff with fugitive Hydra Lacy Jr. His body was found in the rubble about seven hours after the shooting began. It remained unclear early Tuesday whether Lacy was killed by police gunfire or by his own hand.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill Foster requested that all flags in the city be flown at half-staff until after the funeral services for Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Where the house once stood, mounds of dirt and debris covered the lot Tuesday morning. Yellow crime scene tape surrounded the property and the street, blocking through traffic. Two police cars were stationed on each side of the tape. A steady flow of curious drivers passed by.

At mid-morning, a half-dozen police officers began combing the debris for evidence.

Ashley Collins, 25, went to the scene Tuesday morning to see the house after witnessing the standoff Monday.

"Wow, it's really gone," she said. "Damn, the whole house is really gone."

Police said the house where the shootings happened was not safe to search, so it was torn down. Police spokesman Mike Puetz said the rubble will be spread out and examined at an off-site location.

He said it wasn't an ideal way to search for evidence.

"Some items may not be located because of that," he said.