Strong to severe storms moving through Duval, Nassau counties

Typical summer-like downpours and thunderstorms are expected to last through the evening as temperatures hold steady in the upper-to-mid 80s. Models show that areas near I-75 could see spotted storm development as early as noon, that moisture will continue to push into the southeastern portions of Georgia through the early afternoon. The sea breeze will ignite storms along I-95 as early 4 p.m., increasing chances for northeastern Florida for the late afternoon. So, expect our eastern coastal zones to stay dry through morning into the early afternoon, then there’s a significant chance throughout the late afternoon and evening that our beaches may experience heavy rain and lighting. The rip current risk is low for both today and tomorrow. However, Sunday gives way to slightly lower rain chances and appears to be better outdoor day of the weekend. So far, a decent amount of cloud cover (partly to mostly is expected for Monday afternoon around 2:45 p.m. when the eclipse appears locally in northeastern Florida, yet rain chances are only at 20-30%. Fingers crossed that will see more breaks in clouds than not. Remember y ou can always check out all of the photos and add your own on the eclipse section of StormPins.

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Police arrest suspected robber at Westside gas station

Police surrounded a Gate gas station near the corner of Collins and Westport roads Saturday in the city’s Chimney Lakes neighborhood after an officer saw suspects in a home invasion there, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office said the suspects are believed to be linked to an early-morning call police received about a home invasion in Southeast Jacksonville. The caller told police that several armed people drove off in a gray Dodge Charger.

A K-9 officer on patrol said they spotted the car traveling north at high speeds on the Buckman Bridge. The car was driving too fast and erratically for the officer to pull the driver over, so he followed as the car exited on Collins Road, erratically driving through parking lots before stopping at the Gate gas station.

The officer said he saw the driver get out of the car and go into the gas station, where he barricaded himself in the bathroom.

Police cautiously surrounded the car, not knowing if there were other armed people still inside.

Police evacuated the gas station and a called in a SWAT team. While SWAT was on its way to the scene, another officer tried to speak to the man, who refused to reply. About five minutes later, he came out of the bathroom and was taken into custody.

SWAT members arrived and were able to determine that the car was empty.

The driver was charged with reckless driving and resisting violence at the scene. An investigation into his connection to the possible home invasion robbery is still ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to call the JSO at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-645-TIPS.

Second Kissimmee police officer dies from wounds in shooting

Two Kissimmee police officers were shot and killed Friday night, while they were responding to a suspicious person call in an area known for drug activity, according to Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell.

Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter responded to Palmway and Cypress streets in Kissimmee at 9:27 p.m. and came into contact with four people, police said.

At 9:32 p.m., both men were shot, O’Dell said.

“It looked like they were surprised,” O’Dell said, adding that the officers did not return fire.

One of the officers was shot in the head at close range, a source told Orlando TV station WKMG News 6. Both men were wearing their Kissimmee Police Department uniforms and body armor.

IMAGES: 2 Kissimmee Police officers shot

Both men were taken to Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee. Baxter died overnight and Howard passed away Saturday afternoon authorities said.

Everett Miller was taken into the custody after the shooting. O’Dell described him as a “strong suspect.”

O’Dell said it is believed that Miller was only one shooter and used an unknown firearm.

Another man was taken into custody after authorities found him at Roscoe’s Bar, sources told News 6.

WKMG Sky 6 video from Kissimmee showed crime scene tape and a heavy law enforcement presence outside Roscoe’s Bar, which is about a block away from the scene of the shooting.

There is one more person at large. Police said they’d also like to speak to a fourth person who might have witnessed the shooting.

The Florida Highway Patrol issued an advisory, warning drivers to stay out of the area near the intersection of U.S. 192 and Orange Blossom Trail due to heavy police activity.

Several law enforcement agencies are assisting with the case.

Condolences from local authorities and politicians quickly poured in on social media as news of the fatal shooting spread Friday night. Gov. Rick Scott called O’Dell at 11:35 p.m., according to his schedule.

O’Dell said Baxter was a three-year veteran and Howard was a 10-year veteran. Both men are husbands and fathers.

“(The families) are completely heartbroken and devastated. These were beloved fathers and husbands and sons, and so we are doing everything in our power to support them and their families at this time,” O’Dell said.

Baxter’s body was taken early Saturday by a procession of law enforcement officers from across Central Florida to the Osceola County Medical Examiner’s Office for further investigation.

Officials initially said two officers had died in the shooting, and then O’Dell told the media early Saturday morning that one officer had died and the other was being treated.

O’Dell said that his department was struggling with the loss of their fellow officers.

“Although we’re aware of what goes on, you know, in law enforcement across the nation, we haven’t experienced this in over 25 years,” O’Dell said.

Up until Friday night, it had been 34 years since a Kissimmee Police Department officer was killed in the line of duty.

Two officers were also shot Friday night in Jacksonville Friday night, police said. Both are in stable condition.

“This horrific violence against law enforcement will not be tolerated, and as attorney general, I will continue to ensure those who commit violence against our law enforcement officers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Attorney General Pam Bondi said.

Our prayers are w/ @kissimmeepolice officers, friends & families. Our hearts are heavy w/ this incredible loss.– Mayor Buddy Dyer (@orlandomayor) August 19, 2017

Sending our thoughts and prayers to @kissimmeepolice— Chief John Mina (@ChiefJohnMina) August 19, 2017

Heartbreaking loss of two of @kissimmeepolice. Please join in prayers for families, friends, and law enforcement. https://t.co/vnLNkeMn0E— Mayor Teresa Jacobs (@Mayor_Jacobs) August 19, 2017

Our solidarity is with @kissimmeepolice as they deal with this tragic loss.– OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) August 19, 2017

JSO: 2 officers shot trying to rescue women from gunman

Two officers answering a 911 call late Friday night about three women hiding from a man firing shots in a Westside home were shot and injured as they entered the house. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said the officers are recovering and the gunman is dead.

Williams said the shooting happened during an “alcohol fueled domestic situation.”

Police said officers at the house on Seaboard Avenue near Timuquana Road responded about 10:50 p.m. and heard gunfire. They entered the home to rescue the women and were immediately shot, one in the stomach and the other in both hands.

They returned fire and killed a man firing a semi-automatic rifle, Williams said. The gunman was taken to Orange Park Medical Center, where he died. Just before the shooting, the gunman threatened to kill himself and his family.

The backup officers entered the house, secured the scene and got the women and a 19-month-old child found in another part of the residence out of the home.

Officer Michael Fox, an 11-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was shot in both hands. He was in surgery Saturday morning and said to be in stable condition.

Officer Kevin Jarrell, a five-year veteran, was shot in the stomach. He is also in serious but stable condition — an upgrade from critical earlier in the morning — and was able to meet with the sheriff at UF Health Jacksonville.

“We ask the community to keep them in their prayers,” Williams said.

The Sheriff’s Office identified the gunman as Derrick Brabham, 25, who had no criminal history in Duval County. The Sheriff’s Office said it appears that the rifle used was purchased legally.

“You never know who you’re going to live beside,” said Shawn Blatzer, who lives a few houses away. “You never know if you’re gonna be neighbors with and I guess we see now what can happen

News4Jax spoke with Brabham’s stepmother who said he had moved out and was living with his girlfriend for a while.

Williams identified the others in the home as Brabham’s girlfriend, her mother, a friend and Brabham’s child.

UNCUT: Sheriff Mike Williams briefing |
JSO Director Mike Bruno briefing |
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith |

Police said the first officers were hit by gunfire as soon as they entered the front door and were able to return fire.

“We heard a boom then another boom, boom, boom. They were like, ‘Oh God, call 911,'” neighbor Allyson Bobble told News4Jax.

“We often talk about the inherent dangers of police work. Tonight, those dangers were all too real for these officers,” JSO Director Bruno said. “As the officers approached the house, they knew it was a rifle that this individual was shooting and they knew that they were staring danger in the face and yet they moved forward to meet their commitment they held and that they swore to take to protect this community.”

Fox had been involved in one previous shooting incident. It was the first shooting incident for Jarrell. Like all police-involved shootings, this will be investigated by the state attorney’s office and internally by the JSO.

IMAGES: 2 JSO officers shot on city’s Westside

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith, retired from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, knows what the officers were going through as they arrived at a home knowing a gunman was inside.

“That’s the extremely dangerous part of police work is the unknown you just don’t know what the person is going to do,” Smith said. ” That’s why training is so important being prepared to handle all situations and on top of that the officers having the courage to approach a house where you know you can’t see the person but they can see you. Knowing they may shoot at you and still to continue to approach the house knowing that your life is on the line; I mean, that is the bravest thing a police officer can do.”

According to News4Jax records, 11 JSO officers have been shot since 2007. Just last month, JSO K-9 Officer Jeremy Mason was shot in the chin by bank robbery suspect Michael Harris.

In Northeast Florida, the most recent officer shot and killed in the line of duty was Clay County Sheriff’s Detective David White in 2012.

Just south of Orlando, two police officers were also shot and killed in the line of duty Friday night, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said.

“This horrific violence against law enforcement will not be tolerated, and as attorney general, I will continue to ensure those who commit violence against our law enforcement officers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement.