A second Kissimmee Police officer has died.
Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard died Saturday afternoon after being gravely wounded in a shootout with a suspect Friday night.
In all, six law enforcement officers were shot Friday night in American cities: two Kissimmee police officers, two Jacksonville County Sheriff’s Office deputies and two Pennsylvania State Police officers.
Kissimmee Police officer Matthew Baxter was shot and killed, Chief of Police Jeff O’Dell first announced during a news conference shortly after midnight on Saturday. The second officer, Howard, was in “grave, critical” condition at Osceola Regional Hospital on Saturday but later passed away.
“Both are husbands. Both are fathers,” O’Dell said.
Overnight, police were able to identify the suspected shooter, Everette Glenn Miller, who has since been arrested, O’Dell announced during another news conference at 9 a.m. Saturday. Miller, 45, was charged with murder, carrying a concealed weapon and resisting arrest.
Osceola County Sheriff’s Office detectives found Miller at 11:30 p.m. Friday, at Roscoe’s Bar & Packaging, 2344 N Orange Blossom Trail, Kissimmee, the chief said.
“We had a small snipette of video that placed the suspect at the scene at the time of the stop,” O’Dell said.
Miller reached toward his waistband as detectives approached him, but they were able to tackle him to the ground and arrest him. Miller had a 9 mm handgun and .22 caliber revolver at the time he was arrested.
Baxter, 27, was married to a fellow Kissimmee police officer and had four children. Howard is married with one child.
“It’s a tough time in law enforcement,” Chief O’Dell says. “It’s getting tough … these senseless acts are going on.”
In Jacksonville, two sheriff’s office police officers were shot when responding to a report of an attempted suicide, sheriff’s office Director Mike Bruno said during a news conference at 1:30 a.m. Saturday.
Kevin Jarrell, a 5-year veteran, was shot in the stomach but was expected to recover, Sheriff Mike Williams said during another news conference Saturday. Michael Fox, an 11-year-veteran, was shot in both his hands and had undergone surgery on Saturday, but was also expected to recover.
Both officers were listed in stable condition on Saturday.
The suspect, later identified as Derrick Brabham, 25, had been drinking all night which led to arguments which later led to threats to hurt himself and others in the home. Three women; Brabham’s girlfriend, the girlfriend’s mother and a family friend, were hiding in a bathroom.
When officers arrived, the seven formed a contact team before approaching during which time they saw Brabham and one of the women outside arguing. When the couple reentered the home, the officers heard gunfire.
When Gerald and Fox entered the home, the sheriff said, the suspect immediately opened fire on them at close range. The officers returned fire, shooting the suspect twice. Three more officers entered home, taking away their injured fellow officers and then returning to look for the suspect.
The suspect was found in the hallway, Williams said. The three women were then found as well as Brabham and his girlfriend’s 19-month-old baby. The baby had been away from shooting in another room.
Brabham, had no criminal history, the sheriff said. He had been armed with a semi-automatic .223 caliber riffle
“We often talk about the inherent dangers of police work. Tonight those dangers were all too real for these officers,” Bruno said. “As the officers approached the house, they knew it was a rifle the individual was shooting. They knew they were staring danger in the face and yet they moved forward to meet their commitment they held and that they swore to take for this community.”
Two Pennsylvania state troopers were shot just after 8 p.m. Friday in the Fairchance Borough of Fayette County, Pa., according to the state police department. The troopers, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, had arranged a meeting with a suspect, Clarence Belsar.
Belsar, 26, was suspected of selling property stolen in recent burglaries in the area, police posted Saturday morning on Facebook. When the Pennsylvania troopers approached him, he began to walk away and ignored their commands. When they attempted to stop Belsar, a struggle ensued.
Belsar pulled a handgun and fired one shot, which struck both troopers, police said. The troopers returned fire, shooting Belsar dead.
One trooper was shot in the hand, treated in a hospital and later released. The other trooper was shot in the abdomen and is in serious condition but expected to recover.
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