Updated: 08/27/2014 7:37 AM
Created: 08/26/2014 6:56 PM KSTP.com
By: Cassie Hart
It was a solemn anniversary for the St. Paul Police Department on Tuesday, which marked 20 years since the murders of officers Ron Ryan Jr. and Tim Jones.
"It was a difficult and tragic day," recalled St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith, who served with both officers back in 1994. A day with a lot of sorrow. A day with a lot of tears."
Smith spoke at a ceremony outside the police headquarters Tuesday morning.
On Aug. 26, 1994, Ryan responded to a call about a man sleeping in his car in the parking lot of Sacred Heart Church in St. Paul. When Ryan tapped on the window, the man picked up a handgun and shot Ryan point blank. During a subsequent manhunt, Jones and his canine were shot to death as they tracked down the suspect. Guy Harvey Baker is now serving two life terms in prison with no chance of parole.
"I'm glad people still remember," said Ron Ryan, Sr., who served in the police department with his son. "There's still the hole in my heart, our heart that will never go away. Time makes part of that get better, but it's still there."
Chief Smith lauded both men, reminding his department that Jones came in on his day off to join the manhunt for Ryan's killer. He described Smith as "someone who we always said was relentless in being able to capture the bad guy. He was somebody I looked up to because he had this uncanny way of finding the bad guy all the time."
Both Ryan and Jones grew up on St. Paul's east side, served there with distinction, and died there as heroes.