Two Kissimmee police officers gunned down while patrolling a drug-infested area of town on foot were remembered as husbands, fathers, colleagues, and heroes during a memorial service at the First Baptist Church in Orlando Thursday.
Officer Matthew Baxter and Sergeant Sam Howard were shot to death last Friday night as they talked to a man on a street corner who happened to be carrying two handguns.
Thousands of mourners turned out for the joint funeral, as an honor guard carried the flag-draped caskets of the two officers’ bodies from hearses into the church. Dozens of law enforcement officers, some from other states, saluted as the caskets went by them.
Baxter, 27, leaves a wife and four children, all under five years of age.Howard, 36, leaves a wife and a 17 year old daughter.
After the service, which started late because more chairs had to be set up for all the mourners, the coffins containing the officers’ bodies will be taken to Woodlawn Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Gotha.
If you would like to donate to the fallen officers’ families, Kissimmee Police have set up a fund through a SunTrust account by the city. The account name is City of Kissimmee, Officer Matthew Baxter and Sergeant Sam Howard. The account number is 1000193639936.