‘Light and love’: family and friends to honour Jesse Baird and Luke Davies at Sydney vigil

<span>Floral tributes at the Paddington home of Jesse Baird. Police have charged Beau Lamarre with murdering the 26-year-old and his partner Luke Davies, 29.</span><span>Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/EPA</span>
Floral tributes at the Paddington home of Jesse Baird. Police have charged Beau Lamarre with murdering the 26-year-old and his partner Luke Davies, 29.Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/EPA

The grieving families of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies will join friends at a vigil to honour the men as Sydney’s LGBTQ+ community attempts to come to terms with their alleged murders.

Friends of 26-year-old Baird – an AFL umpire and former television presenter – and 29-year-old Davies – a Qantas cabin attendant – organised Friday evening’s memorial event in Darlinghurst’s Green Park with the blessing of the men’s families.

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out for a community vigil for Luke and Jesse,” said New South Wales independent MP Alex Greenwich, who helped secure use of the park, adding that condolence books will be available to sign at the event.

Separately, a floral tribute was continuing to expand at Baird’s Paddington home where the couple were allegedly shot and killed by serving police officer Beau Lamarre 10 days ago. Flowers overflowed from the terrace’s front steps on to the leafy street in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Related: Alleged murder of Jesse Baird by Beau Lamarre was premeditated, NSW police claim

On Thursday, two men – who had flown from Brisbane but did not want to be named – paid their respects at the Paddington site where their close friend Davies was allegedly killed.

“He was the love of our friendship group,” one of them told Guardian Australia. “He was the light and love and laughter of everyone around him. He was a humble, beautiful man and he was a brother to many.”

Davies had worked with Tigerair Australia for seven years before he joined Qantas, the friend said. The airline ceased operations in late 2020.

“Tiger was his family. He touched so many people. He just had this thing about him,” the friend said.

Among the tributes left outside Baird’s home were scores of bright bouquets and candles. There was an AFL shirt and a maroon Qantas uniform scarf. Small Qantas and Tigerair model planes were nestled among the flowers.

(February 16, 2024)  Friday

Lamarre allegedly took a force-issued handgun from storage at the Miranda police station in south Sydney.

Lamarre signed the gun to work at a “protest activity” happening on Sunday 18 February, police say. It is unclear whether he actually worked at the event.

It was a “user pays” event where police officers are hired for private events – such as music festivals and rallies. Organisers pay for policing services.

(February 19, 2024) Monday

9.50am – Neighbours hear gunshots at Baird’s home in Paddington, police say. The shots were not reported to police until days later.

9.54am – An emergency call is made to triple zero from Davies’ phone but is terminated before being connected to an operator.

Later that evening – Lamarre allegedly hires a white Toyota HiAce van from Sydney airport.

(February 20, 2024)  Tuesday

Lamarre allegedly makes “partial admissions” about the killings “to an acquaintance of having been involved in the deaths of two individuals”, police say.

Police allege at some point between Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Lamarre drove the hired van to Cronulla and discarded some personal items of former TV presenter and AFL umpire Baird, 26, and Qantas flight attendant Davies, 29.

(February 21, 2024) Wednesday

11am – Bloodied clothing and personal items are found in a skip bin in Cronulla, which leads police to launch a missing person investigation. The homicide squad is notified.

1pm – Police discover a large amount of blood when examining Baird’s home in Paddington.

Later that afternoon – Investigators search Davies’ home in Waterloo.

During the same day – Police allege Lamarre attends a Bungonia property near Goulburn with an acquaintance. The acquaintance is described by police as “an innocent agent”.

Lamarre and the acquaintance allegedly buy an angle grinder and a padlock from a hardware store in the area before driving to the gates of the property in the NSW southern tablelands.

Lamarre allegedly cuts the padlock with the grinder and proceeds into the property in the hired van. The acquaintance says they wait at the entrance at the top of the property for about half an hour.

After Lamarre places a new padlock on the property’s gate, the pair drive back to Sydney later that afternoon, police say.

Police say the acquaintance who visited the property with Lamarre is a “long-term friend of the accused” and “we don’t believe she was fully aware of what had taken place”.

Detectives say they believe the Bungonia property was previously visited by Lamarre through a former relationship.

11pm – Lamarre allegedly buys weights from a department store.

Police allege Lamarre then returns to the rural property near Goulburn during that evening or overnight. Lamarre allegedly acquires two torches from the acquaintance before he returns.

(February 22, 2024) Thursday

4.30am – Lamarre allegedly leaves the Bungonia area again in the hired white van and drives back to Sydney.

It is believed Lamarre drove to the city and remained in that area before he attended another acquaintance’s home in Newcastle.

Lamarre didn’t disclose anything to this acquaintance but asked for access to a hose to clean the van, police allege.

11.30pm – Detectives say a third person – later identified as Lamarre – “may be able to assist with investigation”. They raid a home in Balmain thought to be connected to Lamarre.

(February 23, 2024)  Friday

5am – Lamarre is believed to have stayed in the Newcastle area until early Friday morning.

6.15am – Lamarre returns to Sydney.

10.39am – Lamarre hands himself in at Bondi police station while wearing a black T-shirt and cap. A few hours later, police charge Lamarre with two counts of murder.

4pm – Lamarre appears before Waverley local court. He does not apply for bail and the matter is adjourned to 23 April.

(February 24, 2024)  Saturday

Morning – Police search waterways in the Newcastle suburb of Lambton. Detectives believe Lamarre visited the city north of Sydney before turning himself in at Bondi.

(February 25, 2024)  Sunday

Police, including specialist divers, begin searching the rural Bungonia property near Goulburn looking for the bodies of the missing Sydney couple. Divers scour the area and dams behind the home.

(February 26, 2024)  Monday

The NSW deputy commissioner Dave Hudson provides more details of the police case against Lamarre.

These details include:

The Glock pistol Lamarre allegedly used for Monday’s murder may have been stored at the Balmain police station after the alleged shootings before being returned to storage at Miranda police station.

There were “approvals within the organisation for firearms to be stored at home as well”.

A break-in allegedly occurred at Baird’s house in August 2023 – at the time, Lamarre and Baird were still in some form of a relationship.

Police allege Lamarre sent messages using Baird’s phone pretending to be him after the alleged murders – telling his housemates he was potentially moving to Western Australia and to deal with his property.

Investigators allege Lamarre’s crimes followed months of “predatory behaviour” that culminated in the fatal double shooting.

(February 27, 2024)  Tuesday

11am – Detectives interview Lamarre at Silverwater jail in western Sydney, where he is on remand.

1pm – Human remains found at Bungonia.

2pm – Investigators announce they have established a crime scene at a second property at Bungonia about 20 minutes from the first property.

3.30pm – The police commissioner, Karen Webb, says at a press conference “we believe we have located two bodies”. She says: “The families have been notified. We are very confident we have located Luke and Jesse.”

Webb says the discovery of the bodies was made with the assistance of the accused.

One card, signed “A neighbour”, echoed the sadness of many: “Terribly sorry that your lives have been taken so young. Impossible to imagine the grief of your families. RIP together.”

Attached to a bunch of sun-wilted flowers, another read: “Lukey and Jesse. Rest in peace boys. We will miss you. So much.”

The alleged double murder has affected many beyond the pair’s immediate friendship group.

A bunch of flowers was left at the Paddington terrace with two mini bottles of Smirnoff vodka, balloons and a card that stated: “I didn’t know you guys but the love and legacy adored by your loved ones will be cherished for eternity.”

Qantas will honour former employee Davies on their Mardi Gras float on Saturday night. NSW police officers will not wear uniforms when they march after striking a deal with event organisers.

Related: The alleged double murder of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies – podcast

After Lamarre was charged with the alleged murders of Baird and Davies, the Mardi Gras board initially asked the force not to march in the parade for the first time since 1998.

The NSW police commissioner, Karen Webb, said on Wednesday the force had agreed to march in plain clothes “in consideration of the sensitivities”.

The Australian federal police has confirmed that its officers will not be participating in Saturday’s parade.

“The AFP is pleased NSW police and organisers of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade have found a way forward for this year’s march,” an AFP spokesperson said.

“After careful consideration, the AFP will not march in this year’s parade, however it is likely our members will continue to cheer on the sidelines and will participate in other events.”

Advocacy group Pride in Protest has organised a rally on Friday night after the vigil. The event at Taylor Square – the centre of the weekend Mardi Gras celebrations – will call for an end to police violence.

“We need justice for Jesse, for Luke … and for every victim of the police,” protest spokesperson Evan Van Zijl said on Thursday.

On Tuesday, about 60 people gathered at Bronte beach to hold a silent vigil for the two men after their bodies were discovered in surfboard bags hidden on a rural property at Bungonia about 160km south-west of Sydney.