The widow of a slain police officer received a gift from her late husband when she gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday.
Dechia Gerald, the wife of Matthew Gerald, a Baton Rouge officer who was killed in an ambush shooting while on duty in July, reportedly conceived five days before her husband’s murder.
Falyn Matthew Gerald was born at 4:31 p.m. on Tuesday weighing 6 lbs, 8 ounces and measuring 19.5 inches long. During his mom's interview with WAFB, Falyn grabbed onto his late dad’s wedding ring, which Dechia has worn around her neck since his passing.
“I can just feel his presence. I don't have to worry about the anxiety or worry where's he's at or what he's doing because at this moment, he's here with us,” Dechia, who also has a daughter, told the station.
Her husband, who was known to his fellow officers at the Baton Rouge Police Department as “Buttons,” has already passed down the name to his son in spirit.
"Baby Buttons, that's no choice. I don't have a choice in that matter,” said Dechia. “BRPD pretty much already said that.”
Matthew, 41, was gunned down along with two other officers on July 17 after receiving a call about an armed man inside of a store.
The gunman, who also injured three other officers, had allegedly traveled to Louisiana from his native Missouri with the goal of murdering police officers. He was shot and killed during a shootout with police.
Matthew’s mother, Tish, said she knows her son is still with them.
“We all feel daddy with us,” she said. “Very bittersweet, just more than I can express. Just touches my heart more than I can express. It's like having him all over again.”