This February marked 20 years since the death of Gainesville police officer Scott Baird, one of the four officers killed in the line of duty. His case is one of 27 homicides in the city that remain unresolved.
In an attempt to bring closure to Baird’s case and the other cold case homicides, Gainesville’s Police Department announced Wednesday morning that the City of Gainesville is offering a $50,000 reward for information on those responsible for the death of Baird. The press release adds that there is a $10,000 reward for new information on the deaths featured in GPD’s ‘Cold Case Homicide’ webpage. The cases date back to 1974.
The 20 years since Baird’s death was observed with candlelight vigil held at a roadway behind Gainesville High School, known as Officer Scott Baird Boulevard.
In the early morning of Feb. 12, 2001, Officer Baird, 23, arrived behind the high school in response to a call of a displaced baseball-practice batting cage. Baird attempted to remove the 400-pound batting cage out of the road to try and clear the lanes. A car came over a hill, visibly obstructed by heavy fog, and struck the metal cage as they tried to brake. The batting cage hit Baird, who was between his patrol car and the batting cage, and instantly killed him.
To report any information on the deaths featured on GPD’s Cold Case Homicide page, reach out to Sgt. David Blizzard at 352-393-7710 or call the general tip line at 352-393-7700.
Correction: A prior version of this article stated that Baird’s case was one of 26 unsolved homicides. It has been revised to the correct number, 27.