6 Police Officers Shot in Florida and Pennsylvania, 1 Killed and 5 Wounded

NBC News

Six police officers were shot, one of them fatally, in three separate gun incidents in Florida and Pennsylvania late Friday, officials said.

One officer was killed and another gravely injured in Kissimmee, just south of the theme park hub of Orlando, central Florida.

Two officers were critically wounded in Jacksonville, while two state troopers were shot in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.  

In Kissimmee, officers Sam Howard and Matthew Baxter were checking suspects in an area of the city for drug activity when they were shot, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said at a news conference. They did not have an opportunity to return fire.

“They were surprised,” O’Dell said. When asked whether they were ambushed, he said, “It’s too early to tell, but it’s leading that way.”

Baxter, a three-year veteran of the department, died later in a hospital and Howard, a 10-year veteran, was in serious condition, O’Dell said. Baxter, who was married to another officer, has three young children.

The officers were checking three of the suspects when a fourth opened fire. One of the original three suspects fled and was being sought, and the other three were arrested. Broadcaster WFTV showed aerial footage of police cars with lights flashing swarmed a housing complex as the search continued early Saturday morning.

Mayor Jose Alvarez said in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of our fallen officer, Matthew Baxter who lost his life in the line of duty. Our prayers also go out to Sergeant Sam Howard and his family as he remains in critical condition.

“The entire city of Kissimmee is in mourning. We pray for all law enforcement who are out there, protecting our community.”

President Donald Trump tweeted that his “thoughts and prayers” were with the local police “and their loved ones.”

In Jacksonville, police officers were responding to a call about an attempted suicide at a house. Gunfire was heard from outside the property as officers arrived, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Director of Patrol and Enforcement Mike Bruno told NBC News.

Before officers even entered the house, the suspect began shooting at them through the doorway and there was an exchange of gunfire in which two officers were struck, one of them in the stomach, Bruno said.

The suspect is dead and it’s not yet known if body cameras were worn or activated.

In Pennsylvania, two troopers were shot and a suspect killed after an incident near a store on West Church Street, Fairchance, Fayette County, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Melinda Bondarenka said in a statement.

One of the troopers was life-flighted from the scene to a hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia and the other was taken to a hospital via ambulance, NBC station WPXI reported.

Both were stable and alert, Bondarenka said.


2 thoughts on “6 Police Officers Shot in Florida and Pennsylvania, 1 Killed and 5 Wounded

  1. Maybe incidents like these will help teach them to quit making so many enemies. A simple truth is that the more citizens who hate the police, the more dangerous their job will be. That number of citizens is growing.

    I’m in a magnanimous mood, so I’ll offer some open advice to any police who may see this:

    1. STOP treating people with disrespect or condescension. You are paid to provide a service to the public, not act like a knight among peasants.

    2. STOP insisting on arresting people for victimless crimes. You always give your fellow cops a break when you see them violate laws like DUI. You can do the same for the harmless guy who sold pot to his adult friends. Laws against victimless acts are almost always morally WRONG, which makes it EVIL to enforce them. And don’t tell us to “change the law,” since 99.99% of citizens have no power to do so.

    3. Speaking of giving your comrades a break, DON’T do that when you see them violate the rights of citizens. Every cop who participates in the “Blue Wall of Silence” is, in the long run, drawing a target on YOUR back as well as his own. Do something about the corruption in your ranks.

    4. Respect the Bill of Rights in letter and spirit. That means NO civil asset forfeiture, NO mass surveillance or fishing expeditions, NO gun control, and so on.

    5. DON’T use more than the minimum force needed to arrest people, even for legitimate offenses. You’re not a soldier or a “warrior” being paid to fight against the American People. The more you act like part of an occupying army, the more likely you are to be treated like one sooner or later.

    6. To summarize all of the above: Treat others as you want to be treated.

    Don’t want to follow these suggestions? Then don’t complain when people blow away cops!

  2. “One officer was killed and another gravely injured in Kissimmee, just south of the theme park hub of Orlando, central Florida.

    Two officers were critically wounded in Jacksonville,…”


    Slowly but surely… things are looking up.

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