'I want to keep his legacy alive,' Kissimmee police officer's widow says 1 year after his death

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Saturday marks one year since two Kissimmee police officers were killed in the line of duty.

Kissimmee police Officer Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter were fatally shot while responding to a report of suspicious activity in a part of the city known for drug use.

Residents are invited to pay tribute to the fallen officers at Kissimmee Lakefront Park. The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature free food, games and live music.

Sadia Baxter, Baxter's wife, said Saturday will be a difficult day for her, but she plans to attend a community barbecue in honor of her husband and Howard so she can thank the community for their support over the last year.

Baxter on Friday invited Channel 9 into her home, where her children's playroom is adorned with mementos from their father.

"I want my kids to know that we have a lot of support every year for this anniversary," she said. "We don't have to cry, even though I'm sure I will."

Baxter said the difficult year has been marked by vigils and community gatherings. She said Saturday's event will be a celebration of life.

"We can honor my husband," she said. "Knowing that, yes, it was his day of being an angel. But we have each other, so I want to keep his legacy alive by that day not being so negative."