KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Two police officers died after a U.S. Marine -- who is not in active in duty -- shot them Friday night in Kissimmee, according to the Kissimmee Police Department.
Chief Jeff O'Dell identified the two killed as Sgt. Richard "Sam" Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter. Both of them were fathers.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he was "heartbroken." President Donald Trump tweeted a message to the Kissimmee Police Department early Saturday morning.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the Kissimmee Police and their loved ones," Trump said. "We are with you."
Howard and Baxter, who were both wearing their uniforms, were shot about 9:30 p.m. in a neighborhood known for having drug activity, O'Dell said. Both officers were taken to Osceola Regional Hospital where doctors pronounced Baxter dead Friday night and Howard dead Saturday.
Four suspects were in custody early Saturday morning, O'Dell said. Detectives arrested Everett Glenn Miller, a 45-year-old military veteran with a history of mental health issues, at the Roscoe's Bar at 2344 N. Orange Blossom Trail. Police officers said he was in possession of a 9 mm and a .22 revolver.
O'Dell said officers used Baxter's handcuffs to take Miller to the Osceola County Jail. Prosecutors charged Miller with first-degree murder, resisting arrest without violence and carrying a weapon to an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages, records show.
"I am so proud of the sworn and civilian members of our department by acting quickly to identify the suspect and bring him to justice," O'Dell said. "We will mourn over the next few days."
Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins Jr. said the last Kissimmee police officer who was killed on duty was in 1983.
"Heartbreaking loss of two of Kissimmee's finest officers," Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs tweeted. "Please join in prayers for families, friends and law enforcement."
Police officers and deputies from St. Cloud, Orlando, Orange County and Florida Highway Patrol troopers were assisting the Kissimmee Police Department. Law enforcement agencies nationwide expressed their support on social media.
The City of Kissimmee set up a "City of Kissimmee – Officer Matthew Baxter and Sergeant Sam Howard" SunTrust bank account to facilitate donations to the families of the fallen officers starting Monday.
More messages of solidarity
KPD reporting two officers shot in the area of palmway and cypress. Media staging area at Stapkesvon Main Street. — Kissimmee Police (@kissimmeepolice) August 19, 2017
Our hearts are heavy with the news of our 2 fallen @kissimmeepolice Officers. Our prayers are with their families & their fellow officers. pic.twitter.com/TvJoNXTmRK — Sanford Police (@SanfordPolice) August 19, 2017
We are 1 family. This makes 4 police officers shot in FL tonight. Our heavy hearts are with our brothers & sisters & their loved ones https://t.co/24rwxMEHxr — Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) August 19, 2017
We stand with @kissimmeepolice in grief tonight. All official info will come through their Twitter feed and briefings in media staging area pic.twitter.com/UhYIxWEm55 — Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) August 19, 2017
The men and women of BCFR stand with our brothers and sisters in blue tonight as we mourn the loss of two Kissimmee Police Officers. — BCFRpio (@BCFRpio) August 19, 2017
We stand with our brothers and sisters at the Kissimmee Police Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved. — Winter Park Police (@WinterParkPD) August 19, 2017
We stand by our brothers & sisters with the @kissimmeepolice Dept. RIP Ofc Baxter & praying for Sgt Howard after this senseless tragedy. pic.twitter.com/PTqJV7wlrS — Davie Police Dept. (@DaviePolice) August 19, 2017
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