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Chief: Suspect taken to jail in Officer Baxter’s handcuffs

Posted on Friday, August 18, 2017 at 11:02 pm

Kissimmee police have charged a suspect with first degree murder in the death of a Kissimmee police officer.

Everett Glenn Miller, 45, was also charged with

Miller

resisting arrest without violence and carrying a concealed weapon.

Two Kissimmee police officers were shot Friday night south of the McClaren Circle area in what Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell is calling “a senseless tragedy.”

O’Dell confirmed that Officer Matthew Baxter, a three-year member of KPD, has died from his injuries. Baxter is married to another KPD officer. Miller was taken to Osceola County Jail in Baxter’s handcuffs, O’Dell said.
“This [act] is not a reflection of our city of Kissimmee community, O’Dell said at a press conference Saturday morning.

Sgt. Sam Howard, a 10-year KPD veteran, is in grave condition at Osceola Regional Medical Center, and O’Dell said “his prognosis does not look good.”

Three of four suspects are in custody. According to eyewitness reports, one was apprehended while hiding in a bathroom at Roscoe’s Bar, less than a mile north of Vine Street on Orange Blossom Trail and just blocks from the shooting scene near Palmway and Cypress Streets. O’Dell said there is no public safety issue as they pursue the fourth suspect.

OBT remains closed from Florida Hospital to Vine Street as multiple police agencies — Sheriff’s Office, St. Cloud Police, Orlando Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, the FBI and FDLE are part of the massive scene — continue to investigate.

At 10:42 p.m. KPD’s Twitter feed reported the two officers were shot less than two blocks northeast of the intersection of Vine and Main. O’Dell said Howard and Baxter called in a check of suspicious persons at Palmway and Cypress at 9:27 p.m. Five minutes later the first 911 call came from the neighborhood to report officers had been shot.

“It’s an area where we have drug activity, officers being proactive, maintaining a presence in the neighborhood in keeping residents safe,” the chief said.

O’Dell said indications are the officers did not return fire, and it’s too early to say if it was an ambush.

Both officers are married with children, O’Dell said.

“As you can imagine they are heartbroken, completely devastated. We are doing everything in our power to support them,” the chief said.

“This is a tough time for each of us. We are appreciative of our local partners. We are aware what goes on in law enforcement across the nation but we haven’t experienced this in over 25 years (in Kissimmee). We train for it, but nothing prepares you for it.”

On the same night, two officers were shot in Jacksonville, and two more in rural Pennsylvania. Ironically, police associations took dozens of guns off the street Thursday through the annual Kicks 4 Guns initiative, where citizens could turn in guns for store gift cards with no questions asked.

“It’s a tough time in law enforcement. We’re here to protect and serve, but it’s getting tough to do the job we’re sworn to protect and uphold and keep people safe. These senseless acts are going on. The residents who live in that North Kissimmee area are tired of putting up with the drug dealing and nonsense that goes on and we’re doing our part to keep them safe.”

KPD welcomes any information that can lead to further arrests in the incident. It’s non-emergency number is 407-846-3333, or email seeitsayit@kissimmee.org.

This is a breaking story. Check back as information is confirmed.