MIAMI (CBS4) – Three years after Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo were gunned down serving a warrant on a vicious killer, the two Miami Dade police detectives were honored by having the warrants bureau renamed in their honor.
“I must say Amanda and Roger were very unique in that they loved life and they gave their all to family, to faith and to this community,” said Police Director J.D. Patterson. “It is our challenge to never ever forget, to never ever take for granted, and to live each and every day reflecting the life and the commitment of both Amanda and Roger in everything we do.”
More than 200 friends and co-workers of Haworth and Castillo joined their family at police headquarters for the unveiling of a plaque bearing Haworth and Castillo’s names and pictures.
“The loss for us is as great now as the very first moment we heard the news,” said Susanne Miller, Haworth’s mother.
“We don’t forget, we can’t forget because these are people that were so special to our community and to our families,” added Magda Robaina, Castillo’s cousin.
Haworth and Castillo’s death shook the community. They were members of a special squad that went looking for the worst of the worst criminals. On January 20, 2011, their target was Johnny Simms, a career criminal wanted for murder.
When the detectives knocked on the door of Simms’ mother, she let them in. But as soon as Haworth entered the house, Simms burst through a bedroom door and began firing – even though his own mother was in the line of fire. Simms shot Haworth in the head and then as he ran out the front door shot and killed Castillo. Simms was killed himself a few seconds later by another detective from the warrants squad, Oscar Plasencia.
The memorial for Haworth and Castillo at the American Airlines Arena was one of the largest in South Florida history.
Major Charles Nanney said the warrants bureau’s new name will act as a reminder to every officer who walks through its doors to be extra vigilant.
“Its very important we don’t forget because we have about 3,000 officers out there every day and every day could be there last day,” Nanney said. “Three years ago happened to be Roger and Amanda’s last day.”
During the ceremony Monday it was striking to see the children of the two slain officers – Roger’s three sons as well as Amanda’s two boys.
“When this happened they were children and like you said right now they are young men,” said Robaina, Castillo’s cousin. “And what I’ve seen is strength and character. Instead of crumbling they have risen.”
Haworth’s son Austin said the anniversary of his mother’s death is always difficult, but he added: “Knowing that everyone is still here and supports us makes it a lot easier.”