1 police officer dead, 1 in grave condition after shooting in Kissimmee, Florida

Kissimmee Police Chief John O'Dell addresses reporters after two officers were shot on Aug. 18, 2017. (Kissimmee Police Dept/Twitter)

Two police officers were shot while responding to a call in Kissimmee, Florida on Friday night in an incident that authorities believe may have been an ambush.

Kissimmee Police Chief Jeffrey O'Dell told reporters Officers Matthew Baxter and Sam Howard were called to the area of Palmway and Cypress Streets regarding a suspicious person around 9:27 p.m. Five minutes later, the first 911 call came in reporting that they had been shot.

Asked if the officers were ambushed, O'Dell said it is too soon to be sure, but "it's leaning that way."

According to O'Dell, Baxter has died from his wounds and Howard remains in critical condition. Baxter was married to another Kissimmee police officer and was the father of three children.

"It's getting tough to do the job," O'Dell said, asking the public for prayers.

Police have a "strong suspect" in custody, along with two others. They are searching for a fourth person who may be a witness. O'Dell said officers believe there was only one shooter.

President Donald Trump responded quickly to the news, tweeting out, "My thoughts and prayers are with the @KissimmeePolice and their loved ones. We are with you!"

"Our law enforcement officers are true heroes and we will miss these brave Floridians," said Gov. Rick Scott.

In a separate incident elsewhere in Florida, two Jacksonville police officers who were part of a contact team responding to an attempted suicide call involving a suspect with a high-powered rifle were shot around 11 p.m. As of 1:30 a.m., one of those officers was in critical condition and the other was stable.

The suspect was shot by police and died at the hospital.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off