UPDATE: Four Florida officers shot, two dead

Courtesy of WESH 2 News

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) – The Latest on police officers shot in Florida (all times local/ET):

Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

Florida’s governor has issued an executive order reassigning the case of a man accused of killing two police officers from the top prosecutor who says she is no longer seeking the death penalty.

Gov. Rick Scott issued the order Saturday evening, taking the case of Everett Miller from State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter of the Kissimmee Police Department were shot late Friday in the district covered by Ayala.

Ayala announced earlier this year that she wouldn’t seek the death penalty, explaining it’s not a deterrent and it drags on for years for the victims’ relatives.

Miller is facing a first-degree murder charge for the Kissimmee shootings. He was arrested late Friday.

A spokeswoman for Ayala didn’t respond to an email inquiry seeking comment.

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4:25 p.m.

Two Florida police officers were fatally shot in a district where the top prosecutor says she is no longer seeking the death penalty.

Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter of the Kissimmee Police Department were shot late Friday in the district covered by State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

Ayala announced earlier this year that she wouldn’t seek the death penalty, explaining it’s not a deterrent and it drags on for years for the victims’ relatives.

The announcement came as her office was building a case against Markeith Loyd, who is charged with the fatal shooting of an Orlando Police lieutenant.

Everett Miller is facing a first-degree murder charge for the Kissimmee shootings. He was arrested late Friday.

A spokeswoman for Ayala didn’t respond to an email inquiry seeking comment.

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4 p.m.

A U.S. congressman from Florida says he plans to ask for a moment of silence on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to honor two officers who were killed on patrol.

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto said Saturday that American flags will be flown over the U.S. Capitol to honor Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter of the Kissimmee Police Department.

Howard died Saturday from his injuries and Baxter died Friday night, shortly after he was shot.

Authorities have charged 45-year-old Everett Miller with first-degree murder.

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3:15 p.m.

Authorities in Florida say a second officer has died, a day after he and a colleague were shot during a scuffle with a suspect.

The Kissimmee Police Department says Sgt. Sam Howard died Saturday from his injuries.

His colleague, Officer Matthew Baxter, died Friday night after the attack in a neighborhood of Kissimmee, which is located south of the theme park hub of Orlando.

Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said Saturday that Everett Miller was arrested several hours after the shootings late Friday.

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11:50 a.m.

Authorities say two officers who were shot in north Florida have a long journey to recovery.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Saturday that officers Michael Fox and Kevin Jarrell are in stable condition following Friday night’s confrontation with an armed man who was killed by the officers.

Williams said at a news conference that the suspect, Derrick Brabham, was making threats inside a home with the mother of his child, their 19-month-old baby, the woman’s mother and a family friend. None of them were injured.

After officers arrived at the home, they heard gunfire from inside and decided to enter the house.

The sheriff says Brabham opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle as they entered the house.

Separately, in central Florida, a Kissimmee police officer was killed and his sergeant wounded following a scuffle with a suspect.

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9:10 a.m.

Authorities in Florida say a suspect has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a police officer and the grave wounding of another officer.

Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said Saturday that Everett Miller was arrested several hours after the shootings late Friday in this city south of Orlando.

He faces a first-degree murder charge.

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

O’Dell says Officer Matthew Baxter was fatally shot and Officer Sam Howard was wounded during a scuffle with Miller while on patrol.

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8:30 a.m.

President Trump says his thoughts and prayers are with a police department in Florida where one officer was fatally shot and another was gravely wounded.

Trump tweeted early Saturday to the Kissimmee Police Department, “We are with you!”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted he was heartbroken by the news of Officer Matthew Baxter’s death late Friday in central Florida, and he was praying for a quick recovery for Officer Sam Howard.

Separately, two officers were shot and wounded in the north Florida city of Jacksonville late Friday.

2:55 a.m.

Authorities say two officers who were shot and wounded had responded to reports of an attempted suicide at a home in the northern Florida city of Jacksonville where three other people were thought to be in danger inside.

Sheriff’s Office Director Mike Bruno says a team of officers heard gunshots inside and feared “an active shooter situation” so they approached the house. He says the suspect then came out firing a high-powered rifle. He was shot and killed, and two of the police officers were wounded in that exchange of fire.

Bruno says the three other people in the house were safe.

One of the officers was shot in both hands, and the other shot in the stomach.

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1:22 a.m.

Police say one police officer was shot and killed and another was gravely injured by gunfire while checking suspicious people in central Florida. Three suspects are in custody and a fourth is being sought.

Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said at a news conference early Saturday morning that officers Sam Howard and Matthew Baxter were checking people in an area of Kissimmee known for drug activity when they were shot. They did not have an opportunity to return fire.

O’Dell says Baxter, a three-year veteran of the department, died later in a hospital and Howard, a 10-year-veteran, was in serious condition.

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12:50 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said on his official Twitter account that he is “Heartbroken to hear of the loss” of two police officers in in Kissimmee, in central Florida.

The Kissimmee Police Department said the two officers were shot in a downtown area, but did not immediately disclose further details. The department said the police chief would give a briefing later in the night.

Scott also said that two police officers who had been shot in the northern city of Jacksonville were “in danger.”

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12:15 a.m.

Authorities in northern Florida say two police officers have been shot in Jacksonsville.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said on its official Twitter site that two police officers were shot in the west side of the city.

No further details were available. The Twitter feed said: *”We will update as soon as we can.”

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Friday, 11:30 p.m.

Florida authorities say two Kissimmee police officers have been shot.

The Kissimmee Police Department says via its official Twitter site Friday night that the officers were shot in the area of Palmway and Cypress.

No further information was immediately available.

Kissimmee is about 23 miles (37.01 kilometers) south of Orlando.

 

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