The second of two police officers shot Friday night in Kissimmee in Central Florida has died, the Kissimmee police department posted on Facebook Saturday afternoon.
“It is with heavy heart that we announce the passing of Sergeant Richard “Sam” Howard. Sam succumbed to his injuries this afternoon,’’ the department said in its posting.
Howard, 36, and Officer Matthew Baxter, 27, were involved in a shootout that began around 9:30 p.m. Friday in Kissimmee when the officers checked out a trio of people in one of the city’s neighborhoods. Baxter began to scuffle with one, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell told reporters Saturday morning. Howard, who arrived as a backup, became involved and both officers were struck by gunshots.
Neither had time to return fire, O’Dell said. Baxter, a three-year veteran, died Friday night; Howard, a 10-year veteran, died on Saturday.
About an hour and a half later and 160 miles north on Friday night, two Jacksonville police officers were shot while responding to a call reporting a suicidal person on the city’s west side. When the suspect, later identified as Derrick Rashard Brabham, exited the house with a semi-automatic rifle, he traded gunfire with the police, the Jacksonville Times-Union reported. One officer was shot in the stomach, and another was shot in both hands.
Brabham was declared dead after being taken to a nearby hospital. The officers, later identified as Michael Fox and Kevin Jarrell, were both in stable condition Saturday morning, according to the Times-Union.
About two hours after the shooting in Kissimmee, police arrested 45-year-old Everett Glenn Miller when he fled to a bar around 11:30 p.m. Miller, a Marine veteran who had been recently taken into custody by the Osecola County Sheriff’s Office over mental health concerns, was found with two guns, a 9mm and .22 revolver, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Miller was charged Saturday morning with resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon, according to Osecola County Jail records. An early investigation found that Miller had also threatened police officers online, O’Dell said. He added that his officers intended to use Baxter’s handcuffs on Miller when he is taken to the county jail, and that he expects Miller will also face a murder charge, according to the Sentinel.
Both officers were wearing body armor but no body cameras when they were struck.
“They are both wonderful men, family men. They are both very committed to the community,” O’Dell said, according to the Sentinel. “They were the epitome of what you ask for in law enforcement officers.”