DORAL (CBSMiami) – One year after two Miami-Dade police officers lost their lives in the line of duty, they were honored in a special ceremony at Miami-Dade Police headquarters and the widow of officer is speaking out for the first time about her husband and the shooting.
“I know he did his job,” said Debbie Castillo, whose husband Roger lost his life. “He did everything correctly that day.”
Officer Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth, members of a unit that tracks career criminals, were shot and killed by fugitive Johnny Simms in the entrance to his Liberty City duplex on January 20, 2011. Another detective on the squad immediately gunned down Simms, killing him.
Miami-Dade police on Friday honored both detectives with the unveiling of a butterfly garden dedicated to Haworth and Castillo.
The ceremony took place outside police headquarters in Doral
Castillo left behind a wife and three sons; Haworth, a son and longtime partner.
Debbie Castillo, Roger Castillo’s wife, was also in attendance with her three sons and gave an emotional speech when she said Castillo was there in spirit, CBS4’s Peter D’Oench reported.
Susan Miller, Haworth’s mother, said her daughter a dedicated officer who was a hero. Miller was in attendance with Haworth’s two sisters and teenage son.
Haworth’s father, Bob Haworth, said he was flattered by the garden.
“I’m very proud, very happy because I’m sure she’ll be looking down on it and seeing this butterfly garden,” he said.
The garden has a new bench with the names of Haworth and Castillo, which read:
“In memory of Miami-Dade Police Warrants Detectives Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo who were murdered in the line of duty on January 20, 2011. They will never be forgotten.”
The bench sits in front of two butterfly figures, one for Castillo and the other for Haworth.
“I’m really, really excited about it and I think it’s wonderful dedication and a wonderful remembrance for Mandy and Roger,” Haworth’s stepmother said.
Since she was a child, Haworth loved butterflies, her stepmother said.
“She loves butterflies and God’s creation of how he can create things and you could soar,” she said. “You could soar like the eagles and that’s what she’s doing.”
Bob Haworth said, “I figured by one year it would be a lot easier, but in fact, it’s getting harder and I just miss her more and more everyday. She loved her job, she was good at it. She was a good cop and she loved what she was doing. She wanted to put the bad guys away and make Miami-Dade County a better place and for 23 years she did that.”
At the event, loved ones thanked police for their support.
In an exclusive interview Thursday, Amanda Haworth’s father and stepmother spoke to CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. Her father described her as a “good cop” who “wanted to put the bad guys away.” Her step-mother described the fallen Miami-Dade officer as an “inspiration.”
CBS4Video Coverage Of The Shooting
Web Extra: Miami-Dade Police On Death Of Second Officer
US Marshals: Officers Killed While Serving Warrant
Officers In Shooting Taken To JMH
Miami-Dade Police Confirm One Officer Dead In Shootout
Special Report: Officers Shot in Miami
Special Report: Officers Hurt in Miami
Special Report 1: 2 Law Enforcement Officers Injured
On May 5, 2011, the county’s police department officially renamed a section of SW 56th Street between SW 97th Avenue and the Palmetto Expressway for Castillo and Haworth.
Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus announced at the memorial that two college scholarships will be awarded every year to students in Miami-Dade or Broward County to honor the officers and students who show integrity and perseverance.