Suspect in Florida Cop-Killing Identified as Longtime Marine; Vigil Held for Fallen Officers
Everett Miller was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. A vigil was held for Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Richard Howard on Sunday.
A suspect has been named in the slaying of two Florida cops, whose deaths were marked with a somber weekend vigil.
Everett Miller, 45, who served as a United States Marine for more than 20 years, was arrested Friday, hours after two policemen in Kissimmee were gunned down in what cops have called an ambush.
Officer Matthew Baxter died from his injuries Friday night. Sgt. Sam Howard died Saturday afternoon.
Miller faces a charge of first-degree murder for the killing of Baxter. Authorities have not yet said what charges he could face for Howard's death as of Monday morning.
Miller's online bio said he performed intelligence analysis during Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom while working with the U.S. Special Operations Command, according to WKMG.
In the days prior to the shooting, Miller reportedly posted articles on Facebook related to the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville.
On the morning the police officers were killed, Miller posted a meme of Dr. Martin Luther King with the caption, "When I said march I didn't mean forever [expletive]. Shoot back."
Baxter was "checking out" three people, including Miller, when the officer got into a scuffle with Miller, according to police. Howard, his sergeant, responded as backup, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O'Dell.
The officers didn't have an opportunity to return fire.
Miller was later tracked to an area bar by officers in a neighboring jurisdiction.
Baxter, 27, had been with the Kissimmee Police Department for three years, was married to a fellow officer and had four children.
Howard, 36, had been with the department for 10 years and had one child with his wife.
A vigil honoring both men was held Sunday afternoon in Kissimmee.
Around 100 people attended the event, including the Kissimmee chief of police.
"They are questioning and I can see it in their face and I didn't make any one of them come," said Chief Jeff O'Dell said of his officers. "They came on their own so that tells you how much they needed this. More for me it's what the officers needed to see and realize that the community does love and support them."
"It's getting tough to do the job that we've all sworn to protect and uphold and maintain," O'Dell told attendees.
Miller made his first appearance before a judge Sunday on charges of premeditated first-degree murder, carrying a concealed weapon and resisting arrest without violence.
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