On Sunday in Kissimmee more over 100 people gathered to pay their respects and to honor the two slain Kissimmee Policers, Sgt. Sam Howard and Office Matthew Baxter. The senseless and violent shooting took place on Friday not far from the Hope Mission Church, who organized Sunday’s memorial service.
At the service there was prayer time for the officers’ families and for the community to come together during this time of loss and hurt.
There was a spirit of thankfulness and respect for our law enforcement officers who every day risk their lives to serve and protect. This terrible tragedy certainly serves as a reminder of the jeopardy our law enforcement officers face every day.
In attendance were numerous law enforcement and elected officials, including Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell, Osceola Sheriff Russ Gibson, Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez and Kissimmee Vice Mayor Wanda Rentas.
Police have reported that Everett Glenn Miller, 45, had fired on the Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter about 9:30 p.m. Friday near Cypress Street and then fled the scene. The officers appeared to have been surpised by the shooting as they did fire their weapons during the incident. Miller was arrested two hours later at Roscoe’s bar not far from the murder scene. Officer Baxter was pronounced dead Friday evening, and Sgt. Howard died Saturday at Osceola Regional Medical Center.
Detectives had been looking for Maribel Gonzalez King because she is known to frequent the north Kissimmee neighborhood where the shooting had occurred, but the police said that she was not a suspect. She was located and questioned, and no further details have been provided at this time.
On Sunday, Miller, a veteran of the Marine Corps, made his first appearance in court in front of a judge since his arrest, wearing an orange and white jail jumpsuit. The charges are premeditated first-degree murder in Baxter’s killing, resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon. He only states his name and his date of birth.
Miller has not been charged with Sgt. Howard’s death as of yet, but it has been reported that additional charges will likely be filed soon.
Funeral arrangements for the two officers have not been shared yet by KPD, but we will share service information as soon as it becomes available.