Miami-Dade Police held a solemn, emotional ceremony Friday morning to remember two of their officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty exactly one year ago.
A ceremony of remembrance for Officers Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo was held at the police department’s headquarters in Doral. Director James Loftus recognized their bravery, while thanking their loved ones for their gift to the community.
“You have endured this incredible loss with such strength of character, with such heart, with such compassion,” he said, holding back tears.
Haworth, 44, and Castillo, 41, were gunned down on Jan. 20, 2011 in a shootout with a murder suspect in Liberty City. The veteran detectives were serving a felony warrant to Johnny Simms, a career criminal.
As Simms’ mother opened the door for the detectives, Simms opened fire, killing both Castillo and Haworth. Another officer on the scene shot and killed Simms.
Castillo left behind a wife and three sons. Haworth left behind two sons.
“I hope I can convey to you how proud and blessed we are to have had her in our family,” Haworth’s mother, Suzanne Miller, said at the ceremony Friday.
A butterfly garden was dedicated as a living memorial to them afterward.
This past May, county commissioners voted to name a portion of Southwest 56th Street for Haworth and Castillo.
Castillo’s wife, Debbie, said her late husband enjoyed life and “held no grudges.”
“He lived life, and we all need to learn from him and to enjoy ourselves, because you never know when your day will come,” she said.