Kissimmee, Florida Police Officers Richard “Sam” Howard and Matthew Baxter were both fatally shot on a public street in Kissimmee, by 45-year-old Marine Veteran Everette Glenn Miller. The incident occurred at 9:30 p.m. on Friday according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Matthew Baxter stopped Miller and two others. Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard was in the area and came as back up. Investigators are reportedly trying to piece together what happened in Kissimmee on Friday, but within minutes Matthew Baxter and Richard “Sam” Howard, both Kissimmee police officers were shot.
Kissimmee Police Officer Matthew Baxter died soon after the shooting. Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard reportedly died on Saturday afternoon.
Everette Glenn Miller was arrested at 11:30 PM inside Roscoe’s bar. Miller was taken into custody under the Baker Act. This Florida State law allows involuntary commitment in the event of a mental health crisis. Miller is currently being held at the Osceola County Jail.
Everette Glenn Miller reportedly served in the Marines from 1989 to 2010 and had no criminal record in the state of Florida. His Facebook page reportedly reflected his anger over racism and he made threats of violence according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Kissimmee Police Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard age 36, died on his mother’s birthday according to the Orlando Sentinel. Officer Richard “Sam” Howard is survived by his wife, his parents, and a teenaged daughter, Sam Howard’s family reportedly saw him one last time before he was taken off life-support on Saturday.
Sgt. Sam Howard was a veteran having served two tours in Iraq, after High School. Sgt Howard was reportedly a family man and devoted to the town he served.
Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell told the Orlando Sentinel that Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter were both good police officers, committed to serving the community.
“They’re two wonderful men. They are two officers who are committed to doing it the right way. They are both very committed to the community.”
Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard had been promoted just this July, within the Kissimmee Police Department, and the Kissimmee Chief of Police posted this photo on Twitter.
Very excited about our most recent promotions. Lt Wilson Munoz, Sgt Sam Howard, and Corp Jeff Patanjo. pic.twitter.com/4TYhEq47vF
— KPD Chief O’Dell (@ChiefJeffOdell) July 19, 2017
More American police officers have lost their lives in 2017 than in any prior year. There have been 82 police officers who died in the line of duty so far this year. Thirty of those died of gunshot wounds, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Seven of those police officers were from Florida.
Kissimmee Florida Police officers Matthew Baxter, and Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard will be remembered with a prayer vigil at Hope Mission Church at 3 p.m. Sunday.
[Featured Image by NSC Photography/Shutterstock]