Friend Says Slain Officer Was ‘Made To Serve'; Candlelight Vigil Honors Officer Matthew Gerald
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Texas police officer who served in Iraq with slain Baton Rouge police officer Matthew Gerald says Gerald knew the dangers of military life and police work. But he was undaunted.
Ryan Cabral, of Temple, says Gerald was "made to serve."
The 41-year-old Gerald was one of three officers killed Sunday in what police called an ambush by a lone gunman, who also died.
Others killed were 45-year-old Brad Garafola, an East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy; and 32-year-old Montrell Jackson of the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Gerald, Garafalo and Jackson are among 10 law enforcement officers killed over a span of 10 turbulent days around the country.
Gerald was a Baton Rouge rookie police officer who had just begun his new career after stints in the military.
Cabral said he last communicated with Gerald a week ago via text messages in which they encouraged each other to stay safe.
Meanwhile, hundreds gathered on the sprawling campus of a Baton Rouge church for a candlelight vigil honoring Gerald.
Monday night's ceremony for Gerald took place at Healing Place Church. Associate pastor Johnny Green said Gerald had been a member of the church. He said Gerald's family was present but had declined media interviews.
Prayer services and vigils are being held around the Baton Rouge area this week.
The shooter, 29-year-old Gavin Long of Kansas City, Missouri, died in Sunday's gunfight.
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