The Kissimmee Police Officers Shot In Florida Were Responding To A Suspicious Persons Call
On Friday evening, two Kissimmee, Florida, police officers were shot when they responded to a call of suspicious persons in the downtown area. One officer died, and the other is in "grave condition," according to the Kissimmee Police Department.
Three-year veteran Officer Matthew Baxter was killed in the shooting. Local 10 News reported that Baxter is married to a fellow police officer and has three children. According to Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins Jr., the last time a Kissimmee police officer while on duty was in 1983.
Sgt. Sam Howard, a 10-year veteran, was critically injured and the prognosis for him "does not look good," said Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O'Dell said Friday night. The officers were reportedly "ambushed." Three suspects have been taken into custody, and authorities are still looking for one more, the Associated Press reported.
President Trump tweeted his condolences to the Police Department soon after the shooting. "My thoughts and prayers are with the @KissimmeePolice and their loved ones. We are with you! #LESM," he wrote. (LESM seems to stand for "Law Enforcement Social Media.")
Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he was heartbroken Friday night. "Our law enforcement officers are true heroes and we will miss these brave Floridians," he said. "Tonight we lost a brave officer - Matthew Baxter. Husband/father/hero. Praying for @kissimmeepolice," he added.
Officer Howard and Officer Baxter were shot when they responded to a call. Chief O'Dell: Looks as though it may have been an ambush. pic.twitter.com/EOIx3N3asB— Kissimmee Police (@kissimmeepolice) August 19, 2017
Chief O'Dell echoed those sentiments, saying during a media briefing, "This is a tough time in law enforcement. I would ask that you pray for the men and women of law enforcement.''
Two officers in Jacksonville, Florida, were also reportedly shot Friday night. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, one officer is in critical condition, and the other is in stable condition. The suspect was shot by police and died at the hospital. The two cities are more than 150 miles apart. Jacksonville is in north Florida, while Kissimmee is in the central part of the state.