La. state trooper dies of injuries, marking first LSP line of duty death since 2015
HAMMOND (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police (LSP) Trooper George Baker, 33, died Sunday, May 24, surrounded by a vigil of family, friends, and fellow troopers, his colleagues said.
Baker’s death marks the first LSP line of duty death since 2015.
He is the 30th trooper to die in the line of duty in LSP’s history.
Baker was injured Wednesday, May 20, while assisting in a police chase through Hammond, La., near Wardline Road west of I-55.
Baker and another trooper successfully placed a tire deflation device in the road to stop the fleeing vehicle.
A Hammond Police Department unit involved in the chase hit the troopers as they attempted to retrieve the device from the road, officials said.
Both injured troopers were treated at North Oaks Medical Center. The other trooper was released with minor injuries later the same day.
Nathan Anding, 18, of Holden, and Taylor Cox, 26, of Hammond, were arrested in connection with the chase.
LSP officials said Baker was a ten-year law enforcement and military veteran.
His colleagues said becoming an LSP trooper was a “lifelong desire” of his.
He spent 8 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, including one combat deployment in the Middle East, as preparation, LSP officials said in the announcement of his death.
Bakers experience also included four years with the Greensburg Police Department - his first law enforcement job - and three years serving with the St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office.
He began service with LSP’s Troop L in November of 2017, officials said.
In a statement to troopers, State Police Superintendent Colonel Kevin Reeves said, “Trooper Baker passed today leaving our hearts heavy but full of pride as he exemplified our values of duty, selfless service, and personal courage.”
Governor John Bel Edwards also released a statement.
"My heart is heavy at the passing of Trooper Baker, who served the people of our state with honor and dedication and died from injuries sustained in the line of duty. His selfless commitment to his fellow Louisianans represents the best of us and he continues to serve even after his passing by having his organs donated to help others in need. His courage and bravery will never be forgotten,“ said Edwards. "Please join Donna and me in praying for Trooper Baker, his wife Heather, daughter Harper, family, friends, and countless others as they mourn this great loss. Our thoughts are also with all members of Louisiana State Police, who have lost a true teammate and brother today.”
In addition to his wife Heather and their young daughter Harper, Baker is survived by his parents, his sisters, and his extended family, officials said.
Donations are being accepted at www.latroopers.org and through direct donations to the Louisiana Troopers Charities – Trooper Baker.
LSP officials commended Baker for registering as an organ donor before his death.
“Even after his death, Trooper Baker continues to show his commitment to community and selfless service by donating his organs so that others may live,” officials said.
Baker will be buried at a later date and afforded full honors earned with a line of duty death.
The last LSP line of duty death was August 24, 2015.
Senior Trooper Steven Vincent, 44, of LSP’s Troop D, died after being shot in the head during a traffic stop in Calcasieu Parish on August 23, 2015.
A jury recommended Vincent’s killer face the death penalty in July of 2019.
Baker’s death is the first line of duty death for LSP’s Troop L since the death of Trooper Rudolph H. Miller on Sept. 8, 1962.
Miller was killed after being hit by a vehicle on U.S. 51 in Tangipahoa Parish.
Prior to Baker’s death his colleague, Tpr. Michael Bennett, of LSP’s Troop C, penned a letter asking for prayers for troopers as they serve their communities.
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