Fallen Officer - Corporal Michael Roberts
TPD Mourns the Loss of Corporal Michael Roberts
On August 19, 2009 at 9:58p.m. Corporal Michael Roberts was patrolling on Nebraska Avenue in a neighborhood that recently experienced several burglaries. He observed a suspicious person pushing a shopping cart full of items and initiated a stop. The suspect began struggling with the Corporal who attempted to use his taser. The suspect ran across Nebraska Avenue at East Arctic Street and the officer chased him on foot. They began fighting again on the west side of Nebraska Avenue when the suspect pulled out a gun and began pistol whipping the officer. He then fired one shot. The bullet hit Corporal Roberts on the right side of his chest area that was not covered by his bulletproof vest. Witnesses observed the suspect run back to the shopping cart and remove a large canvas bag.
At 10:03p.m. Corporal Roberts' Sergeant pulled up and observed the suspect running from the scene. The suspect then pulled out an AR-15 assault rifle from a canvas bag and pointed it at the Sergeant. The suspect then took off running and the Sergeant ran to help Mike. Corporal Roberts was transported to Tampa General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:50p.m.
A K-9 officer tracked the suspect to 812 Yukon Street where he surrendered to police. Two witnesses saw the suspect pistol whip and shoot Corporal Roberts. The suspect was charged with 1st Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, Aggravated Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer (pointed rifle at Sergeant), Carrying a Concealed Firearm
38-year-old Corporal Michael Roberts will be remembered as an outstanding officer, husband, father and member of the TPD family. He began his career with the Tampa Police Department in 1998. He served in Patrol until 2005 when he became a K-9 Officer. He served one year as a Field Training Officer and was promoted to the rank of Corporal on July 12th, 2009. Roberts was honored with a Life Saving Award in 2005. During his 11-year career, he was awarded dozens of Letters of Appreciation from citizens, supervisors and other law enforcement agencies. He served with the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army.
He is survived by his wife and 3-year-old son. He was a dedicated family man. Mike was known for his sense of humor and practical jokes that could make anyone smile. He was an avid sports fan and played goalie on a TPD Hockey Team.