Saturday's softball fundraiser brings in $1,600

BAXTER SPRINGS - There's no place like home, and there are few who realize that quite as profoundly as Baxter Springs Police Officer Jimmy Hamilton. Officer Hamilton suffered severe injuries in the line of duty on Sept. 30, and was undergoing treatment, including skin grafts, in the burn unit at the Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.

After a grueling three-and-a-half weeks, he's back home.

The announcement was made Tuesday morning on the 'Prayer for Jimmy' Facebook page: "The last surgery (graft) appears to be doing well. Jim says he is glad to be going home but at same time little nervous."

The incident

Just before 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 30, Baxter Springs Police Officers were dispatched to 1007 West 11th in Baxter Springs for what was initially thought to be a domestic disturbance. As officers arrived, a male suspect, later identified as Harvey Raymond Ortberg, 49, 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. Sharon Horn, 65, of Baxter Springs, passed away just before 7 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at a Springfield hospital.


Ortberg is being held at Cherokee County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond. He has been charged with First Degree Premeditated Murder, two Counts Of Attempted Capital Murder, Aggravated Arson, Aggravated Burglary, Aggravated Battery and two counts of Felony Child Endangerment.

The community responds

Since the horrific incident, Baxter Springs and the surrounding community has banded together on numerous fundraisers to help aid in the looming medical care expenses for Officer Hamilton. Most recently, a benefit softball tournament was held Saturday at the 19th Street Ball Fields in Baxter Springs. The fundraiser brought in $1,600, all going to Officer Hamilton's family. The event has a great turnout and was coordinated by Corie Brown and Cheyenne Lewis.