• Police escort body of slain Kissimmee police sergeant

    By: Jason Kelly


    KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Police on Monday escorted the body of slain Kissimmee police Sgt. Sam Howard from Osceola Regional Medical Center to the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office before taking his remains to a funeral home.

    Investigators said Everett Miller, 45, shot Howard and Kissimmee police Officer Matthew Baxter Friday evening during a scuffle at Palmway and East Cypress streets.

    Police said Baxter died at the scene and Howard died Saturday afternoon at Osceola Regional Medical Center.

    Investigators said an Osceola County deputy arrested Miller, a former U.S. Marine, late Friday at Roscoe's Bar & Package in Kissimmee.

    Read: Vigil held for fallen Kissimmee police officers

    Kissimmee Police Department
    Kissimmee Police Department

    Read: Police: 2 Kissimmee police officers fatally shot

    Miller, who was armed with a 9 mm pistol and .22-caliber revolver, had been recently involuntarily committed for a psychological evaluation under the Baker Act, police said.

    He is charged with one count of premeditated first-degree murder. Additional charges are expected to be filed after investigators meet with prosecutors Monday, officials said.

    Detectives said they interviewed Maribel King, a person of interest, to get a better idea of what happened in the moments before the shootings.

    Howard, who has been with the agency 10 years, leaves behind a wife and a teenage daughter. Baxter, who was hired three years ago, leaves behind a wife and four small children.

    Watch: Escort of slain Kissimmee police officer Matthew Baxter's body

    Watch the police escort below:

    Read: Man charged with first-degree murder in Kissimmee officers shooting deaths

    Many gathered in Kissimmee Sunday for a vigil to honor the fallen officers.

    Resident Jalen Pena said Baxter exemplified community policing.

    "He would come and patrol my community. I always used to speak to him. I saw him interacting with the kids," Pena said. "They represented us, the whole community."

    The patrol cars of Howard and Baxter are parked outside the Kissimmee Police Department, where a growing memorial has formed.

    Resident Aida Vega said she visited the memorial Monday to show support for the law enforcement community.

    Photos: 2 Kissimmee police officers shot

    Read: Man accused of fatally shooting Kissimmee police officers faces judge

    "They were fathers, sons, husbands," Vega said. "I am so mad and so angry."

    Police spokeswoman Stacie Miller said it's people like Vega who help officers carry on during such tragic moments.

    "This has been probably the most devastating thing this department has had to deal with in the past 20 years," Miller said. "It says this community loves their police department and they know this police department is hurting right now."

    Officials with the city of Kissimmee have opened an account for the families of the fallen officers. Donations may be made at any SunTrust Bank location.

    A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church of Orlando.

    Read: Man charged with first-degree murder in Kissimmee officers shooting

    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

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