2 Florida Officers Killed In One Of Several Shootings Of US Law Enforcement

“Let me be very clear - last night’s violence against our law enforcement community is reprehensible and has no place in our state.”

A pair of Florida police officers were fatally shot after approaching three men in a Kissimmee neighborhood with a history of drug activity, and a suspect was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, authorities said on Saturday.

In an unrelated shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, a man who shot and wounded two officers was killed when police returned fire, authorities said, while two Pennsylvania state troopers suffered gunshot wounds after exchanging fire with a suspect who later died, local media reported.

Kissimmee Officer Matthew Baxter, 27, was shot and killed and Sergeant Richard “Sam” Howard was fatally wounded in an altercation with three men on Friday. Howard, 36, died from his injuries on Saturday afternoon, Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said at a news conference.

With the help of surveillance video, police arrested Everett Miller, 45, at a bar around 11:30 p.m. Miller, who was carrying 9 mm handgun and revolver when arrested, was charged with first-degree murder for the death of Baxter, O’Dell said.

Miller is expected to also be charged with Howard’s murder, said Kissimmee police spokeswoman Stacie Miller.

“Let me be very clear - last night’s violence against our law enforcement community is reprehensible and has no place in our state,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement. “Florida has zero tolerance for violence and we will not accept hatred for one second.”

President Donald Trump sent his condolences in a Twitter message: “My thoughts and prayers are with the @KissimmeePolice and their loved ones,” he said.

In a second, unrelated shooting, officers in Jacksonville came under fire as they walked toward a house where a man with a high-powered rifle was threatening three people inside, Mike Bruno, director of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, told reporters.

The man opened fire through the door, then exited and exchanged gunfire with the officers, wounding two of them, Bruno said.

The suspect, Derrick Brabham, 25, had no criminal history and was fatally shot in the gunfight, Williams said.

In a third shooting, two Pennsylvania State Police troopers were wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect at a market in Fairchance, 60 miles (100 km) south of Pittsburgh, local media reported.

The suspect died, according to Pittsburgh television station WPXI, which cited unnamed policesources. The two state troopers were in stable condition, according to local media.


(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Mary Milliken and Lisa Shumaker)