Kissimmee reeling after officers gunned down

- The second of two police officers shot Friday night in Kissimmee has died.

The attack has stunned the community they served. A memorial is growing outside Kissimmee police headquarters, where flags now stand at half-mast. People in the city want to let officers know they support them.

“We have to show the police officers that what they do is very important. Without them we wouldn't have any kind of security,” neighbor Evelyn Mercado said.

Security is exactly what Kissimmee police Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Sam Howard were trying to bring to neighbors Friday night when they responded to a suspicious person.

Kissimmee's police chief said this is a neighborhood known for drug activity and neighboring businesses say they're scared to go into this neighborhood in broad daylight.

As you enter the neighborhood, there's even a sign with a warning to drug dealers. It stands just a few feet from the place where Officer Baxter and Sgt. Howard were gunned down Friday night.

“I'm homeless and it's been pretty rough out here for me,” Ebony Meyer said. “I don't want to risk or end up losing my life out here. If they'll shoot a police officer, who knows what they'll do.”

Baxter died Friday night Howard succumbed to his injuries on Saturday. Kissimmee police say the officers had no time to react when the shots rang out.

“Neither weapon was even removed from their holster,” Chief Jeff O'Dell, Kissimmee Police said.

Not far from the scene of the shooting, an Osceola County sheriff's deputy tracked the suspected shooter down at a nearby bar. Bartenders at Roscoe's say 46-year-old Everett Miller was a regular and they believe he tried to seek refuge inside the bar.

A sheriff's spokesperson says when the call went out about Miller's location, several deputies rushed to take him into custody, despite the danger of trying to arrest someone they believed had just shot two other officers and was likely still armed.

“Extremely brave and heroic action by the deputy. There were other people in the vicinity and they went hands-on and tackled him to the ground,” Chief O’Dell said.

Kissimmee police say Miller was armed with two handguns and was reaching for his waistband when deputies took him down without a single shot fired.

Police chief Jeff O’Dell says Miller was taken to jail wearing officer Baxter’s handcuffs.

He faces two charges of premeditated first degree murder for the shooting deaths of officers Baxter and Howard.

Now police are examining Miller's past. Records show just a few traffic citations but Kissimmee police say they wish someone had brought him to their attention sooner.

Investigators found social media posts they say show Miller may have had a grudge against police.

“We're still doing the investigation, but there are Facebook posts and I'm sure comments to friends of this Mr. Miller threatening law enforcement,” Chief O'Dell said. 

Friends and neighbors were stunned by Miller's alleged actions on Friday. Many saying they only knew he kept to himself and was a US Marine veteran.

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