63°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

1 police officer killed, 3 injured during 2 shootings in Florida

Updated August 19, 2017 - 7:30 am

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — One police officer was killed and three wounded in nighttime shootings in two Florida cities where the officers were responding to suspected drug activity and reports of a suicide attempt, police said Saturday.

One officer was killed and another gravely injured late Friday night in Kissimmee in central Florida just south of the theme park hub of Orlando. The other two officers were injured a couple of hours later in Jacksonville, one of them shot in both hands and the other in the stomach.

A suspect in the fatal shooting in Kissimmee and the grave wounding of another officer was arrested several hours after the attack in a bar, authorities said Saturday.

Everett Miller faces a charge of first-degree murder for the killing of Officer Matthew Baxter and could face other charges for the wounding of Officer Sam Howard, said Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell at a news conference Saturday.

During a patrol of the neighborhood south of Orlando’s theme park hub late Friday, the officers got into a scuffle with Miller, who shot them, the police chief said.

The officers didn’t have an opportunity to return fire.

Sheriff’s deputies with a neighboring law enforcement agency later tracked Miller down to a bar and approached him. Miller started reaching toward his waistband when the deputies tackled and subdued him, O’Dell said.

The found a handgun and revolver on him.

“They were extremely brave and heroic actions taken by the deputies,” O’Dell said.

The police chief said Miller would be taken to jail wearing the fallen officer’s handcuffs.

Authorities originally said they believed there were four suspects, but the chief said Saturday that no other arrests are anticipated.

In the northern Florida city of Jacksonville, police responded to reports of an attempted suicide at a home where three other people were thought to be in danger, Sheriff’s Office Director Mike Bruno said.

A team of officers heard gunshots inside and feared “an active shooter situation” so they approached the house, Bruno said. The suspect then came out firing a high-powered rifle. He was shot and killed, and two of the police officers were wounded in the exchange of fire. The three other people in the house were safe, Bruno said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott sent Tweets about the four officers, saying “we stand with ALL law enforcement in Florida.”

When O’Dell held his brief news conference outside the hospital where the two fallen Kissimmee officers had been taken, reports already had surfaced of two more officers shot in Jacksonville to the north.

“It’s a tough time for law enforcement,” O’Dell said of those reports. “It’s getting tough to do the job.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Coronavirus outbreak could kill 100K to 200K in US, Fauci says

President Donald Trump backtracked on a threat to quarantine New York and neighboring states amid criticism and questions about the legality of such a move.

Tornado rips through Arkansas college town, 6 hurt

A tornado ripped through northeast Arkansas on Saturday, leaving six people hurt after hitting commercial and residential areas in the college town of Jonesboro.

US counties without coronavirus are mostly rural, poor

As the coronavirus rages across the United States, mainly in large urban areas, more than a third of U.S. counties have yet to report a single positive test result for COVID-19 infections, an analysis by The Associated Press shows.

Arches, other national parks close during coronavirus crisis

Three more of America’s most popular national parks have closed their gates as pressure mounts on superintendents to prevent crowded trails that could lead to more spread of the coronavirus even as the Trump administration sticks to its decision to waive entrance fees at the parks.

Trump takes action to expand help during coronavirus crisis

President Donald Trump took steps Friday to expand the federal government’s role in helping produce critically needed supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

 
US has most virus infections, 85K; British PM infected

The worldwide death toll has surpassed 25,200 with more than 558,500 cases. In the U.S., 1,353 have died and 91,255 have been infected.