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    1 Kissimmee police officer killed, another injured; 3 suspects in custody, 1 sought

    The Kissimmee Police Department said two of their officers were shot in a downtown area on Friday night. One of those officers has died and the other gravely injured, according to Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O'Dell.

    FOX 35 had earlier reported that both officers had died, based on information our reporters were recieving with those close to an investigation into the shootings.

    The shootings are said to have occurred as the two officers were responding to a call at the intersection of Palmway and Cypress streets, around 9 p.m. on Friday.

    An active search continued for possible suspects into Saturday morning. The Florida Highway Patrol advised drivers to avoid the area of U.S. 192 and Orange Blossom Trail, due to a heavy police presence.

    There is a second scene where several police officers are gathering, near Roscoe's Bar & Packaging, at 2344 N Orange Blossom Trail. No details have been given as to their presence at that location.

    The two officers were responding to a call of suspicious persons in the area around 9 p.m., Chief O'Dell said during a news conference.

    "At approximately 9:32, we recieved our first call... that our officers were shot," he said.

    O'Dell said other responding Officers found the two officers on the roadway, when they arrived at the scene.

    FOX 35 reporters were first told that one officer was were taken to Osceola Regional Medical Center and the other to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Chief O'Dell later clarified that both were taken to Osceola Regional.

    Officer Matthew Baxter, who had served three years with the force, died from his injuries. Sgt. Sam Howard, 10-year veteran, remains in critical condition.

    Chief O'Dell said there are four suspects in total, with two having been taken into custody.

    "I can't divulge any information about that, as this is an ongoing investigation," he added.

    He told reporters that it has been a dark day for his colleagues, as they try to cope with this tragedy.

    "These were beloved fathers and husbands and sons," said O'Dell. "We haven't expreienced this in over 25 years."

    Before details of the shootings were immediately known, community leaders and other law enforcement officers began sending condolences over Twitter. This was before it was learned that one officer had died and other still in critical condition.

    "Heartbreaking loss of two of Kissimmee's finest officers. Please join in prayers for families, friends, and law enforcement," Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs tweeted.

    "Sending out prayers," tweeted Orlando Police Chief John Mina.

    The Winter Park Police Department echoed the sentiment, "We stand with our brothers and sisters at the Kissimmee Police Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved."

    "Hard night to look at Twitter. Just want to reach through the screen and comfort the families -- our Family," posted Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

    Early Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted, "My thoughts and prayers are with the @KissimmeePolice and their loved ones. We are with you!"

    Less than an hour after two police officers were killed in Kissimmee, Florida, reports of two officers being shot in Jacksonville. Read updates on that developing story here.


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