This article was published in The Orlando Sentinel on Aug. 21, 2017.
By Gal Tziperman Lotan
About an hour after investigators say he shot two Kissimmee police officers, Everett Glenn Miller was sitting at a Kissimmee bar.
Miller, 45, had been acting suspiciously and would not leave, a manager at Roscoe’s Bar & Packaging told Osceola County deputy sheriffs. He matched the description of the man who had pulled the trigger, according to documents.
As six deputies and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper tried to remove him, Miller cursed at them and insisted he “didn’t do anything,” records show.
“I'm innocent,” he yelled. “I didn't do it, I'm a veteran.”
A 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol fell from the back of his waistband, and deputies found a Derringer .22-caliber revolver in his front pocket.
Later that night, when a detective adjusted his handcuffs in an interview room at Kissimmee police headquarters, Miller’s demeanor had changed.
“Everett began to cry, said he did not want to live and pleaded with me to kill him,” Detective Cpl. Charles Hess wrote in an arrest report. Hess told him that nobody at the station was going to kill him and asked why he would say that.
“I have done a bad thing,” Miller said.
Miller is accused of shooting and killing Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard. The officers will have joint funeral services on Thursday.
Miller, who spent 21 years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, has no previous criminal record in Florida but had recently been involuntarily hospitalized under the Baker Act, which is used for people having mental health crises and are deemed an imminent danger to themselves or others.
Friends and family say they saw a significant change in Miller within the past five months.
At some point, he changed his name on Facebook to Malik Mohammad Ali and started making bizarre posts about police, race and politics.
One of those posts put him on the radar of the Orlando Police Department. An internal memo released Monday shows that the agency’s intelligence unit warned colleagues about Miller on July 14 because of threats he made on a Facebook live video that was posted three days after he was placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold.
"If this cop comes out with his gun, I’m going to shoot me a cop," Miller said in the video, according to police. "No cop is going to get Glen Miller today … kill whitey."
In the memo, officers noted that Miller was a Marine Corps veteran who had access to weapons. Orlando police notified the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, but law enforcement agencies in Kissimmee and Osceola County were not told because he had an Orange County address.
Court records released Monday provide more details about what led up to the shooting and Miller’s arrest, though unanswered questions remain.
At 9:28 p.m., Baxter told dispatch that he was talking to three men near Palmway and Cypress streets, records show. He soon asked for a supervisor’s help. A short video from a witness showed Miller arguing with Baxter, and saying he was not driving so there was no reason to stop him, records show.
About 20 minutes later, Howard told dispatch he was on scene — the final radio transmission from either of them.
At 9:52 p.m., neighbors called 911 saying they were watching TV in their home when they heard three gunshots, records show. They dropped to the ground, then slowly looked outside and saw a man in a black baseball cap get into a sedan and drive off, records show. Then they saw the two officers lying in the street.
More officers rushed to the scene and tried to resuscitate Baxter and Howard, records show. Baxter was pronounced dead that night, and Howard was taken off life support the following afternoon.
Miller ended up at Roscoe’s, where an old friend saw him “acting crazy, saying he just shot two cops,” Hess wrote in his report. The friend called Miller’s sister and asked her to pick him up, but she had her children with her and could not come to Roscoe’s, she later told police.
Miller is being held without bail in the Osceola County Jail.
Gov. Rick Scott on Saturday signed an executive order taking the case away from Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who in March said she would not seek the death penalty for anyone. Ocala-based State Attorney Brad King will now oversee the prosecution, along with 26 other cases from Orange and Osceola counties that Scott transferred to him.