Sgt. Howard, [left], and officer Baxter [right], were shot Friday night answering a domestic dispute call in Kissimmee, Fla. Both officers died from their injuries.
Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard, 36, struggled to stay alive after he was gravely wounded Friday night during a struggle with suspect Everett Miller, Kissimmee police said. His partner officer Mathew Baxter was shot dead by the same suspect in the same incident on Friday night. Friday turned out to be a particularly horrific day for law enforcement officers across the country. Nationwide, four other police officers were struck by gunfire within two hours Friday night.
Officer Matthew Baxter, a three-year veteran with the Kissimmee Police Department, was killed and Sgt. Sam Howard sustained grave critical condition after being shot during a routine check, according to Police Chief Jeff O’Dell. Howard died Saturday.
The alleged shooter, Everett Miller, 45, was charged overnight with first-degree murder for shooting officer Matthew Baxter, 26. Additional charges are expected to be filed after Howard’s death.
The law men came into contact with Miller, reportedly a Marine veteran, at about 9:30 p.m. Friday on routine 911 call which was a supposed domestic dispute and upon arrival were fired at immediately. The two officers Howard and Baxter got into a struggle with Miller, who blasted them before taking off, Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said at a news conference earlier Saturday.
Osceola County sheriff’s deputies tracked him down at a Kissimmee bar at about 11:30 p.m.
The suspect went for his waistband, but the deputies tackled and arrested him, O’Dell said.
Baxter, who joined the department three years ago, later died of his injuries.
Ex-marine, Everett Miller was arrested and charged in the fatal shooting shooting of Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt Sam Howard, Friday
Deputies found a 9mm handgun and a .22-caliber revolver on Miller, who was transferred to Osceola County jail wearing Baxter’s handcuffs.
Four suspects were initially wanted in the shooting, but O’Dell said Saturday no other arrests were expected.
Baxter’s wife, Sadia, is a detective in the Kissimmee police department, according to a GoFundMe page set up for the fallen officer’s family. The couple had four daughters who ranged from 7 months to 7 years old.
His body was given a police escort to the medical examiner’s office early Saturday.
Officer Mathew Baxter and his wife [right], both law enforcement officers
Howard, a married father of one, served in the Army before joining the Kissimmee police department a decade ago, according to the GoFundMe page for his family.
Gov. Rick Scott sent his condolences Saturday afternoon after Howard’s passing.
“Our grieving hearts become even heavier with the terrible news of Sgt. Sam Howard’s passing,” he tweeted.
As Kissimmee grappled with what O’Dell said was “the most heinous crime possible,” a pair of Jacksonville sheriff’s deputies were shot some 160 miles away.
Sergeant Sam Howard and his family.
Howard and his partner Baxter were killed in the line of duty Friday night on routine 911 call, in Pennsylvania
In the incident Derrick Brabham fired a semi-automatic rifle at officers Michael Fox and Kevin Jarrell as they entered his west side home at about 11 p.m.
The Jacksonville officers were also responding to a domestic dispute call after Brabham made threats inside the home, where they believed his girlfriend, his 19-month-old child and another woman were in danger, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said at a news conference.
Brabham was killed by police in Jacksonville after he shot and injured two cops
Officer Fox was shot in both hands while his partner, officer Jarrell was struck in the abdomen. They were able to return fire and kill the 25-year-old Brabham.
Both officers are currently in stable condition, but have a long road to recovery, Sheriff Williams said.
Derrick Brabham shot at the responding officers with a semi-automatic assault rifle as they entered his home, hitting both. He died in the shoot out
And a pair of Pennsylvania state troopers were shot near a grocery store south of Pittsburgh after 8:30 p.m.
The troopers tried to arrange a meeting with suspect Clarence Belsar, who they believed was selling stolen merchandise, state police said.
The 26-year-old Belsar tried to flee as the state troopers arrived, however. He responded to an order to stop by shooting at the troopers.
One officer was struck in the hand and the other in the abdomen, but they were able to return fire and kill Belsar, officials said in a Facebook post.
The officer hit in the abdomen is in serious condition but expected to survive, state police said. His partner was treated at a hospital and released.