Suspect in Kissimmee police shootings is former Marine, records show

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The man accused of killing two police officers in what appeared to be an ambush in in Kissimmee, Florida, on Friday is a former Marine, records show.

Everett Miller, 45, was arrested at a bar several hours after the shooting.

Officer Matthew Baxter died Friday night, and Sgt. Sam Howard died Saturday afternoon at a hospital.

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Everett Miller, 45, is accused of shooting and killing two police officers in Kissimmee, Florida.

Osceola County Corrections

According to Miller's online resume, he performed intelligence analysis during Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom while working with the United States Special Operations Command, CBS affiliate WKMG reports.

Miller was stationed in various locations including Tampa, North Carolina and Okinawa, Japan, while enlisted as Marine, records show.

"He's a nice guy," said Cartrell Bright, who lives a few houses down from Miller's parents. "He and my son were really good friends."

Bright told WKMG he was heartbroken to learn Miller had been arrested for the murders. According to Bright, Miller has shown signs of mental illness.

"He's sick," Bright told WKMG. "He just lost his mind or something."

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office recently took Miller into custody for a mental health evaluation, authorities said.

The early stages of the investigation shows that Miller had made threats to law enforcement on Facebook, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O'Dell.

In the days prior to the shooting, Miller posted several articles on Facebook related to the Ku Klux Klan and Neo Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, WKMG reports. Miller's Facebook page disappeared from the social media website Saturday night.

Miller faces a charge of first-degree murder for the killing of Baxter. Authorities hadn't yet said what charges he could face for Howard's death.

During a patrol late Friday of a neighborhood with a history of drug activity, Baxter was "checking out" three people, including Miller, when the officer got into a scuffle with Miller. Howard, his sergeant, responded as backup, O'Dell said.

The officers didn't have an opportunity to return fire. They weren't wearing body cameras.

Sheriff's deputies with a neighboring law enforcement agency later tracked Miller down to a bar and approached him. Miller started reaching toward his waistband when the deputies tackled and subdued him, O'Dell said.

They found a handgun and revolver on him.

"They were extremely brave and heroic actions taken by the deputies," O'Dell said.

The police chief said Miller was taken to jail wearing Baxter's handcuffs.

Authorities originally said they believed there were four suspects, but the chief said Saturday that no other arrests are anticipated.

Baxter, 27, had been with the Kissimmee Police Department for three years. He was married to another Kissimmee police officer and they have four children.

Howard, 36, has served with the Kissimmee Police Department for 10 years. He and his wife have one child, O'Dell said.

"They are two wonderful men, family men," O'Dell said. "They are two committed to doing it the right way."