Horrific night ends in victim’s death by immolation; officer remains hospitalized

BAXTER SPRINGS - A terrifying night ended in the death of a woman by immolation, and one officer hospitalized with severe burns. Officer Jimmy Hamilton suffered burns on 29 percent of his body, from injuries sustained in the line of duty.

Sharon Horn, 65, of Baxter Springs, passed away just before 7 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at a Springfield hospital. Horn’s injuries were obtained after a man entered her home and began assaulting her, ultimately setting her and two Baxter Springs Police Officers on fire.

Just before 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 30, Baxter Springs Police Officers were dispatched to 1007 West 11th in Baxter Springs for a domestic disturbance. As officers arrived, a 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 Officer Hamilton to a Springfield Missouri Hospital. The two other officers, Justin Butler and Darryl Nadeau, were treated and released at Freeman Hospital in Joplin.

Initially the call came in as a domestic disturbance, but investigators have since determined the victim and suspect were acquaintances, but not involved in a domestic relationship. The investigation is ongoing and being conducted by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office.

"The suspect and Officer Hamilton remain hospitalized," Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said. "There is a community prayer event being planned at 8 p.m., Wednesday evening at the Baxter Springs Police Department."

Following the tragic incident, a wave of support for Officer Hamilton and his family has been sweeping through Cherokee County. Aside from the aforementioned community prayer event, a GoFundMe page has been set up at gofundme.com/jimmy-and-trina-hamilitin.

The Baxter Springs Police Department has announced an account set up at American Bank for Officer Hamilton. Donations can be done at any American Bank located in Baxter Springs, Galena or Columbus; the money will go directly to Officer Hamilton's family.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 'Barbecue for the Blue Benefit' will be in the Marvin's IGA parking lot in Baxter Springs, raising money and accepting donations. The meats will be smoked by Mike Kliewer and Sheldon Bales. There will be BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, bag of chips, and a can of soda for $5, with all proceeds going to Officer Hamilton's family. More information can be found on the Facebook group page: Prayers for Jimmy.

A Benefit Softball Tournament for Officer Hamilton is planned for Oct. 21, at the 19th Street Ball Fields. Contact Corie Brown for more details at 620-202-0720.