Suspect in Shooting of Two Florida Police Officers Was Former Marine, Records Show

Bowen Xiao
By Bowen Xiao
August 20, 2017US News
Suspect in Shooting of Two Florida Police Officers Was Former Marine, Records Show
Everett Miller. (Screenshot via CBS)


A man accused of killing two police officers in Kissimmee, Florida, on Friday was identified as a former Marine, records show.

Everett Miller, 45, allegedly shot officers Sam Howard and Matthew Baxter before being arrested at a bar several hours after the fatal shootings, CBS News reported.

Miller performed intelligence analysis during operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom while working with the United States Special Operations Command, CBS affiliate WKMG reported.

The former Marine was stationed in multiple locations including Florida, North Carolina, and Okinawa, Japan while he was enlisted as a Marine, records show.

Miller allegedly shot both officers down before they had an opportunity to return fire.

Officer Matt Baxter had stopped three people, including Miller, during a patrol late Friday night in a neighborhood that had a history of drug activity. Baxter appears to have gotten into a scuffle with Miller and called his sergeant, Howard, for backup.

Miller shot both officers then fled the scene.

Neither of the officers were wearing body cameras.

The suspect was later tracked down by sheriff’s deputies from a neighboring law enforcement agency who followed him into a bar. Miller reached for his waistband, but the deputies were able to tackle and subdue him without incident.

Deputies found both a handgun and a revolver on the accused killer’s body.

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

The two officers both succumbed to their injuries. Baxter, 27 died on Friday, Aug. 18 and Howard, 36, died in the afternoon on Saturday, Aug. 19 in the hospital.

Osceola County Sheriff’s Office announced the update on Howard’s death and offered their support to the families of the two fallen officers in a Facebook post.

Authorities said Miller was taken into custody for mental health evaluations by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

Miller had threatened police before on Facebook, according to Chief O’Dell.

“He’s a nice guy,” Cartrell Bright, who lives a few houses away from Miller’s parents, told WKMG. “He and my son were really good friends.”

He said he was heartbroken when he learned that Miller had been arrested for the murders. But according to Bright, Miller had shown some signs of mental illness.

“He’s sick,” Bright told WKMG. “He just lost his mind or something.”

Miller is facing charges of first-degree murder for killing Baxter but authorities have not yet revealed  what charges he would face for Howard’s death.

O’Dell said Miller was in custody and that as of Saturday, they were not planning any other arrests.

“They [the officers] are two wonderful men, family men,” O’Dell said. “They are two committed to doing it the right way.”


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