Reserve Officer Christopher Michael Lawton

Reserve Officer Christopher Michael Lawton

Zachary Police Department, Louisiana

End of Watch Monday, March 12, 2018

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Christopher Michael Lawton

Reserve Officer Chris Lawton was killed after being intentionally struck by a vehicle as he attempted to serve a narcotics-related felony warrant.

He and another officer had spotted the wanted subject inside a U-Haul truck parked at the Walmart on Plank Road, in Baker, Louisiana. After observing the subject for several minutes the officers parked their patrol car behind the truck and began to approach it on foot. The subject saw them walking alongside the truck and started to drive away, pinning Officer Lawton between the truck and a shopping cart corral.

Officer Lawton's partner was able to broadcast a description of the vehicle, which was located approximately 20 minutes later. The driver was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, hit and run, and being a fugitive from justice. A second occupant of the vehicle was charged with obstruction of justice.

Officer Lawton served as a part-time, unpaid reserve officer with Zachary Police Department for 10 years and also served as a full-time firefighter with the Zachary Fire Department.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Z-72

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile; Commercial
  • Offender In custody

narcotics, hit-and-run, warrant service

Most Recent Reflection

View all 186 Reflections

As a participant in the 2019 ODMP National Police Week 5K run, I was randomly assigned Officer Lawton to run for. I didn't know this until the morning of the race when I picked up my race packet. While I didn't personally know him, and have never been to Zachary, LA, running for a lost hero causes you to reflect on his life and sacrifice during the race, and thereafter. So I had to find out more. After the run, I visited the National Law Enforcement Officers memorial and found his name inscribed on the wall (40W31). I found that his service to his community was honorable, and that he died during an attempt to arrest a felony wanted suspect. I also found that I know your Chief through IACP, which makes our police world a smaller place and one in which I can relate to this loss. Your sacrifice will always be honored and remembered. Rest in Peace Officer Lawton.

Chief John Letteney
Apex (NC) Police Department

May 13, 2019

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