KISSIMMEE, Fla. — 7:30 p.m.
In an executive order issued Saturday evening, Gov. Rick Scott reassigned the prosecution of the man accused of shooting and killing two Kissimmee police officers from State Attorney Aramis Ayala.
Scott said he removed Ayala from the prosecution of Everett Glenn Miller, 45, because she refuses to seek the death penalty in any case prosecuted by her office.
Ayala was not immediately available for comment.
Sgt. Sam Howard, the second Kissimmee police officer shot Friday night, succumbed to his injuries Saturday, the Kissimmee Police Department said.
KPD released the following statement:
It is with heavy heart that we announce the passing of Sergeant Richard “Sam” Howard. Sam succumbed to his injuries this afternoon.
In the evening of August 18, 2017, Officer Matthew Baxter checked out with three males in the area of Cypress and Palmway. Sergeant Sam Howard was in the area and responded to Baxter’s call. Details of the exact exchange between Baxter, Howard and the suspect Everett Miller are still under investigation. Shortly after the exchange, a 9-1-1 call was received stating two officers were down. Matthew Baxter succumbed to his injuries shortly after.
The City of Kissimmee has set up a bank account through SunTrust for those who would like to donate to the fallen officers’ families. The account will be titled City of Kissimmee – Officer Matthew Baxter and Sergeant Sam Howard. Donations can be made at any SunTrust Bank beginning Monday, August 21, 2017.
“I am so proud of the sworn and civilian members of our Department by acting quickly to identify the suspect and bring him to justice. We will mourn over the next few days….we will get through this and we love them for what they do,” said Chief Jeff O’Dell.
Kissimmee police Chief Jeff O'Dell said an Osceola County deputy arrested the suspected gunman, Everett Glenn Miller, 45, at about 11:30 p.m. Friday at Roscoe's Bar & Package at North Main and Tremont streets. Click here to watch the full news conference. | Read more about the suspect here.
Kissimmee police Chief Jeff O'Dell will provide an update at 9 a.m. Watch it live here once it begins.
President Donald Trump tweets his condolences to the Kissimmee Police Department and the families of the two officers.
It appears that there was only one shooter and there is no danger to the public, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeffrey O'Dell said.
The two officers were responding to a call in the area and it appears they were ambushed, he said.
Kissimmee Police Chief Jeffrey O'Dell says officer Matthew Baxter was killed Friday and Sgt. Sam Howard was in grave critical condition.
One person believed to have been involved in injuring the officers is in custody and two of the three people they originally responded to check out are in custody, O'Dell said.
It appears the officers were surprised by the shooter, he said.
The prognosis for the injured officer does not look good, O'Dell said.
Baxter, a 3-year KPD veteran, is married to another Kissimmee police officer, he said.
The pair have three young children.
Howard is a 10-year-veteran of the force, O'Dell said.
Kissimmee Police Chief Jeffrey O'Dell expected to address the media in the next 15 minutes.
12:11 a.m. Saturday
A police source tells Channel 9 that a second person has been taken into custody in connection with the shooting deaths of two Kissimmee police officers.
A third person may still be on the loose, the source said.
Raw video: Kissimmee police respond to two officers being shot, one killed in line of duty
Gov. Rick Scott sends Kissimmee his condolences for the loss of the two officers shot to death Friday.
"Our law enforcement officers are true heroes and we will miss these brave Floridians," Scott posted on Twitter.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs confirms on Twitter that the two Kissimmee officers had died.
Police sources tell Channel 9 that one person involved in the shootings of two Kissimmee police officers has been taken into custody.
Neither officer has been identified, but both were men, sources said.
The Florida Highway Patrol urged residents to avoid the area of U.S. 192 and Orange Blossom Trail.
11:02 p.m. Friday
Two independent sources have confirmed to Channel 9 that the two Kissimmee police officers shot in the city Friday night have died. The Kissimmee police chief later said Sgt. Sam Howard survived, but is in grave condition.
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office said it was assisting the Kissimmee Police Department Friday night after two of the department's officers were shot, officials said.
The shooting took place in the area of Cypress and Palmway streets at about 9:30 p.m., police said.
No information was immediately available on the circumstances of the shootings or the conditions of the officers.
Numerous law enforcement agencies were called to respond to the scene, including the St. Cloud Police Department, Orlando Police Department, Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, among others.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Cox Media Group