Press Release. This is a lengthy post including a letter from the Chief at the bottom.
As previously stated by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. "Just before 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 30th, 2017, Baxter Springs Police Officers were dispatched to 1007 West 11th in Baxter Springs for a domestic disturbance.
As officers arrived, a unnamed male suspect threw fuel on a female victim and two officers, catching them on fire.
As a third officer arrived and attempted to extinguish the fire, he too sustained injuries, along with the suspect.
Emergency medical personnel transported the victim, suspect and one Baxter Springs Police Officer to a Springfield Missouri Hospital. The two other Baxter Springs Police Officers are being treated at a hospital in Joplin.
The incident is under investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas State Fire Marshall’s Office." Any questions or information that you may have about this investigation should be directed to the Sheriff's Department.
Since this incident occurred, the victim who was identified as Sharon Horn of Baxter Springs, passed away from her injuries.
First on scene, Officer Jimmy Hamilton sustained burn injuries to about 30% of his body. Our officers visited him throughout the day and reported that he is in good spirits.
Officer Justin Butler was second on scene. Officer Butler sustained 2nd degree burns to his left hand and forearm with minor burns to his head and face. He has since been released from the hospital.
Officer Darryl Nadeau arrived shortly after, retrieved a fire extinguisher from the patrol vehicle and put the fire out. Officer Nadeau was treated for inhalation injuries and was also released from the hospital.
The suspect was taken into custody by our officers. After the scene was under control, Officer Butler transported Officer Hamilton to the hospital in a patrol vehicle. Officer Nadeau remained on scene until other law enforcement arrived, he was then transported to Joplin by ambulance.
Officer Hamilton sustained severe injuries. It is estimated that he will remain hospitalized for the next 29 days. He is currently surrounded by friends and family.
We have been contacted by multiple agencies and individuals in reference to donations for Officer Hamilton. We are accepting donations at our police department. If you do not live close but wish to donate, you can mail it to:
Baxter Springs Police Department
121 West 11th Street
Baxter Springs, Ks
C/O Trina & Jimmy Hamilton
We will be sure to get the donation to the family.
It is our understanding that the following places of business or agencies are accepting donations as well:
Cherokee County Sheriffs Office
Located at 1920 Military Ave, Baxter Springs, Kansas
Located at 1601 Military Ave, Baxter Springs, Kansas
Baxter Springs Ambulance Service
311 N Military Ave, Baxter Springs, Kansas
Starting on Monday October 2, 2017, an account was set up for donations to the Hamilton family at American Bank, located at 1201 Military Avenue, Baxter Springs, Kansas.
We would like to thank the following agencies for all the resources they have provided for us with manpower, donations and whatever else we need.
Cherokee County Kansas Sheriffs Office
Baxter Springs Fire Department
Baxter Springs Ambulance Service
Cherokee County EMS
Galena Police Department
Columbus Police Department
Kansas Bureau of Investigations
Kansas State Fire Marshall's Office
Coffeyville Kansas Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #35
Quapaw Tribe EMS and Fire
Joplin Missouri Police Department
Fraternal Order of Police, Southwest Missouri Regional Lodge #27.
Springfield Missouri Police Department
Springfield Police Officers Association Lodge #22
Mercy Hospital of Springfield Missouri
Security Staff of Mercy Hospital in Springfield
If there is anyone we forgot, we are truly sorry. There has been so much help and resources offered, it is hard to keep track of it all. Not only are these agencies appreciated but so are every individual who has donated to Officer Hamilton. Each one of you are just as important to us!
Letter from the Chief.
Since the events that unfolded on September 29th, 2017, I have been trying to find the words to write this press release. What happened to our officers, and Mrs. Horn was nothing short of a despicable act of cowardice. Although we continue to feel the toll of those actions, we are still here.
In my time serving the citizens of Baxter Springs, I have seen the best parts of our city come together in the face of unfortunate events such as the natural disasters that struck the City of Baxter Springs and the City of Joplin. Watching the communities come together and helping one another has been a miracle to witness.
Once again, our communities have come together not because of a natural disaster but because of the love and support our citizens have towards the dedicated individuals who are willing to put themselves in danger to protect those that they serve.
The Baxter Springs Police Department will continue to serve and protect this community to the best of our abilities. These officers served with the utmost courage and bravery and I am very proud to have them with this agency. Edmond Burke said it best when he quoted “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. And because of the actions of these good men, evil will not prevail.
It has been very inspirational to see such an out pouring of support. So many people have walked into the police department donating to Officer Hamilton. The one that will remain most vividly in my mind is the two children who came and donated their entire allowance, sticky pennies and all. The way the residents of our city responded, was a happy surprise. It is truly a blessing to see how much we are actually supported and appreciated. You make us all want strive to be better officers, it encourages us to stand up for you because we know you stand up for us.
Even though the events of that night have left our community wounded, we will heal. We will lean on each other, and we will stand strong. Baxter Springs Strong. Thank you for your support of our department, and thank you for the honor of allowing me to be their Chief.
Chief of Police
Arthur W. Adams