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Two Florida cops who were murdered in the line of duty never had a chance to return fire Kissimmee Police Department via EPA
Sgt. Richard ‘Sam’ Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter, both of the Kissimmee Police Department, were gunned down by a suspect late Friday. (KISSIMMEE POLICE DEPARTMENT VIA EPA)

The two Florida police officers killed in the line of duty never had a chance to return fire, according to officials, the Associated Press reported.

The Kissimmee Police Department officers killed were Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter.

Kissimmee Police Department

Late Friday night, the officers were on a patrol in a neighborhood with a history of drug-related activity. Officer Baxter was “checking out” three people, including 45-year-old Everett Miller, when the officer got into a scuffle with him.

Kissimmee Police Department

Howard, Baxter’s sergeant, responded as backup, according to Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell.

The officers, who were not wearing body cameras, did not have a chance to respond to return fire before being fatally shot.

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Sheriff’s deputies with a neighboring law enforcement agency, according to O’Dell, chased Miller down to a bar, where they approached him.

When Miller reportedly reached toward his waistband, the officers jumped him and tackled him to the ground, subduing him.

Miller was arrested and charged with murdering Baxter and Howard. Miller, who left the Marines for mental health reasons, came in contact with police around 9:30 p.m and allegedly shot at officers, killing Baxter and Howard.

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“I am so proud of the sworn and civilian members of our department by acting quickly to identify the suspect and bring him to justice,” O’Dell said in a statement. “We will mourn over the next few days; we will get through this and we love them for what they do.”

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In the days before the shooting, Miller wrote a number of anti-American posts on Facebook. The other officer who was shot is expected to recover.

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