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Corporal Michael Joseph Roberts | Tampa Police Department, Florida Tampa Police Department, Florida


Michael Joseph Roberts

Tampa Police Department, Florida

End of Watch: Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 38

Tour: 11 years

Badge # 12

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Corporal Mike Roberts was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious person 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 US 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 Persion Gulf War. He is survived by his wife and 3-year-old son.

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It's been six long years since Michael was killed. Hardly a day goes by that I don't remember Michael when he was first born and reflect on the years following. He began at an early age, maybe 3 or 4 years old to become a little guy who always had something funny going on. He had so many neighborhood friends that he played with in Clearwater. Michael and his brother Paul had the typical brother relationship but anyone could tell they loved and protected each other. They all played some sort of baseball/stick ball in the street. Michael couldn't run very fast, sort of slow afoot but he was with the older ones doing his best to be one of the boys. At dinner time Michael for some reason couldn't keep his mashed potatoes on his plate, they'd fall on the placemat and he'd use his fork to retrieve them. When we'd go to Dairy Queen for an ice cream Michael couldn't lick fast enough to keep the ice cream from melting and running down his fingers. I would have to lick the melted ice cream around the cone and hand it back to him. Michael liked candy as any young person does. At times I would call him Mickey. The candy made his finger sticky from the candy and I'd call him Sticky Mickey. When Michael grew older most people called him Mike but I never did, for me it was always Michael. I named Michael, and his middle name, Joseph is the middle name of his maternal grandfather and it was a perfect fit for a perfect little baby boy.

Robert Roberts
September 28, 2015


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