Crime

A Police Officer in Obama's Motorcade Was Struck and Killed

Well now, this is awful.

Jupiter Police Officer Bruce St. Laurent, who was riding in a motorcade for President Obama as the president was on his way to the Palm Beach County Convention Center yesterday, was struck and killed by a vehicle.

According to Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera, St. Laurent was about to shut down I-95 by the 45th Street exit when a Ford F-150 pickup truck hit him.

The 55-year-old St. Laurent was rushed to St. Mary's Medical Center, where he later died.

Tributes began to pour in this morning for St. Laurent, who was a 20-year veteran of the force -- 18 of those years as a motorcycle officer.

His patrol car, decorated with black banners and a rose, was placed in front of the department, along with a makeshift memorial adorned with candles, flowers, and a photo of St. Laurent.

"We didn't lose a co-worker. We lost a friend," said Sgt. Scott Pascarella, Jupiter police spokesman, who trained St. Laurent when he was a new officer. "He would do anything for anyone."

Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow was too distraught comment:

"I'm so overwhelmed right now," Kitzerow said. "Our first priority is notifying [St. Laurent's] family."

A webpage honoring the father of four has been set up.

The president was notified of the tragedy, and the Secret Service released a statement to WPTV: "The Secret Service extends their deepest sympathies to the officer's family and to the Jupiter Police Department."

The accident is still under investigation.

St. Laurent's fellow officers say he was a policeman who went above and beyond his duties to help the community. During his 20-year career, he received several awards, including Officer of the Year.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph