Kissimmee officer shot, killed in possible ambush, police say

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Police say one police officer was shot and killed and another was gravely injured by gunfire while checking suspicious people in central Florida. Three suspects are in custody and a fourth is being sought.

Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said at a news conference early Saturday morning that officers Sam Howard and Matthew Baxter were checking people in an area of Kissimmee known for drug activity when they were shot. They did not have an opportunity to return fire.

“It looked like they were surprised,” O’Dell said.

O’Dell says Baxter died later in a hospital, and Howard was in serious condition.

O’Dell said Baxter was a three-year veteran and Howard is a 10-year veteran, CBS affiliate WKMG reports. Both men are husbands and fathers.

“Right now, as you can imagine, (the families) are completely heartbroken and devastated,” O’Dell said.

President Trump tweeted early Saturday about the shooting, posting “we are with you!”

Authorities in northern Florida say two police officers have been shot in Jacksonsville.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said on its official Twitter site that two police officers were shot in the west side of the city. The officers were responding to an attempted suicide call, JSO Director Mike Bruno told CBS affiliate WJAX.

No further details were available. The Twitter feed said: *”We will update as soon as we can.”

Fla. Gov. Rick Scott tweeted about both shootings, writing that he was “heartbroken to hear of the loss” of the Kissimmee officers. Abourt Jacksonville, he wrote he was “praying” for the officers.

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