Corporal Mike Roberts
End of Watch: August 19, 2009
Corporal Mike Roberts was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious person at the intersection of Nebraska and East Arctic Street, in the Sulphur Springs area of the city.
He noticed the man pushing a shopping cart along the roadway and stopped to question him. During the questioning the man began to struggle with Corporal Roberts. The suspect produced a handgun and struck Corporal Roberts several times before shooting him once the chest. The round struck him in an area not protected by his vest.
Corporal Roberts' sergeant pulled up as the man began to flee. The man then pulled an AR-15 rifle from his shopping basket, pointed it at the sergeant, and then fled on foot. The sergeant then provided aid to Corporal Roberts by calling for back-up. Officers from Corporal Roberts' squad performed CPR until the paramedics arrived and he was transported to Tampa General Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.
The suspect, a former U.S. Virgin Islands police officer, surrendered a short time later after being located by a canine unit. He was armed with three handguns and the rifle when he was taken into custody. On November 15, 2011, the suspect was convicted of first-degree murder in connection with Officer Roberts' murder and was sentenced to death on February 10, 2012. The Florida Supreme Court later reduced the sentence to life without parole.
Corporal Roberts had served with the Tampa Police Department for 11 years and had previously served with the United States Army during in the Persian Gulf War. He is survived by his wife and 3-year-old son.