Baker Fire Chief Charged With Murder Of Escambia Businessman, Found Three Days After He Was Shot

June 6, 2022

The Baker Fire District chief has been charged with the murder of a 63-year old business owner in Escambia County. The victim’s body was discovered on Sunday, but law enforcement said had been deceased for about three days.

Brian Keith Easterling, age 52 of Baker, was arrested Monday morning in Holt without incident for premeditated murder.

Sunday, Pensacola Police received a call to check on the welfare of the victim at his home because he had not been seen in several days. Officers entered the home and found blood on the floor, but the victim was not inside. They responded to his shop in the 3900 block of Creighton Road.

Inside the shop, an officer tripped over an item under a car cover, exposing the victim’s right elbow. Officers said the victim was face down on the floor, obviously deceased with a gunshot wound to the back of his head. His 2011 Chevrolet 2500 was not at either location.

According to an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office report, surveillance video from 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 2 showed a man later identified as Easterling arrive at the shop with the victim. The victim entered the building and Easterling is seen standing outside the door looking around nervously.

“Easterling actually turns a complete circle looking all around, before entering the building. Within minutes of entering the building, Easterling walks up behind (the victim),” the report states. The victim “then falls immediately to the ground. Easterling can be seen on video getting a car cover and covering (the victim).”

The victim allegedly owed Easterling money, according to the ECSO.

Easterling was booked into the Okaloosa County Jail and transferred to the Escambia County Jail Monday afternoon where he was being held without bond.

Easterling was formally suspended from his position Monday afternoon by the Baker Fire Disrict.



22 Responses to “Baker Fire Chief Charged With Murder Of Escambia Businessman, Found Three Days After He Was Shot”

  1. Lee on June 11th, 2022 7:06 pm

    I have known Mike for close to 20 years as Account rep
    For office products. Stunned to hear this
    And will really miss seeing him at shop
    when I go by. A really nice ,helpful,hardworking
    Guy. Can’t understand cowardly
    people and totally don’t buy this morons
    story about being “owed money”!

  2. Jesse Lucio on June 8th, 2022 3:45 pm

    I knew mike. My first job was working for mike and his dad at the body shop. Mike was always a stand up guy. He will be missed

  3. Mike J. on June 7th, 2022 9:20 pm

    Every convicted murderer with no possibility of corruption in the trial or prosecutors should get the death penalty. Reduce the lawyers fees and the years of appeals then the cost of execution would go way down.

  4. Bill T on June 7th, 2022 9:03 pm

    Your life is kinda over as you will find out if convicted!!!! Now if you know prison isn’t quite as easy as being on the outside as you will see !!!! If convicted !!!! So be very careful inside there because those people live by a different set of rules as you will see if convicted!!!!! See you will be on the giving end or the receiving end either way it ain’t no fun as you will see if convicted!!!!!!! So goodbye for now !!!!!!!

  5. Tiger on June 7th, 2022 4:53 pm

    I hope he is on suicide watch. He has ruined his life and he once had an admirable job.

  6. Suzie B on June 7th, 2022 2:37 pm

    I question who owed the money and who was due the money. There are two sides to every story and then there’s the truth but only one side is being told (by the killer) other that what a witness has said and cameras have shown. Mike didn’t deserve this. So many lives are now changed. Very sad situation. Rest in peace.

  7. Scott on June 7th, 2022 2:20 pm

    “See the evil in his eyes”. What a crock. He looks like a gentle guy to me. If you the eye reader could see evil before a crime, you’d save a many lives.

  8. Susie on June 7th, 2022 10:03 am

    Scary how someone can be an upstanding public figure, first responder, saver of lives and then turn into a totally different creature.

    My heart goes out to Mike’s family. God holds you in His arms in this time of sorrow and gives you strength.

  9. RaD on June 7th, 2022 9:38 am

    The only part I am confused about is, what did killing the man accomplish? Was he aware of a life insurance policy and he would come forward in a few weeks and politely say to the family how sorry he was for their loss but the decedent owed him money? If killing the man was not going to affect his getting paid, I just don’t what he accomplished. Look forward to reading more in a year when it goes to trial.

  10. fisherman on June 7th, 2022 9:00 am

    You can see the EVIL in this mans eyes. His booking photo says it all.

  11. Jr on June 7th, 2022 6:36 am

    Wow, look at you now Brian. You e reduced down yo a sure nuff Thug. Taking a life over a small amount of money has shortened the life of this fella and secured your future as an inmate HOPEFULLY on Death Row. It’s bad enough to murder someone but to sneak up on them and shoot them from behind. Shows everyone how much of a coward you really are…some have known this for years about you. I pray for both families in this senseless tragedy because it didn’t have to happen.

  12. Denbroc on June 7th, 2022 6:05 am

    On several occasions I have dropped by Mike’s shop to look at the vehicles he had for sale. When he was there he would invite me in to show me what he was working on. He was such a good guy.

    My prayers go out to Mike’s family and that of Easterling.

  13. Jim on June 6th, 2022 11:42 pm


  14. consideration on June 6th, 2022 10:34 pm

    I knew this man and his family for many years. He was a mentor and friend. We have since lost touch, but I can’t imagine what would drive him to such an unspeakable act. Sadly the reality is he deserves what the law provides, personally it’s scary to think how easily we as society hit the proverbial “ breaking point.” Hopefully someone will see this proclaimed cowardly act of selfishness and reconsider their options before turning to such heinous acts and realize that life is more sacred then a dollar. I pray for the innocent involved if the allegations are true and hope that he realizes the mess that will be left following this event. The world needs to wake up and realize life is precious and short! There’s always a better way-

  15. Carl on June 6th, 2022 10:15 pm

    Perfect candidate for the death penalty

  16. cj on June 6th, 2022 6:36 pm

    I don’t know why he did this but wow. Maxwell McClintock – in my lifetime, access to guns was easy – but we didn’t go around just shooting people usually. Drugs are much more accessible now and seem to be a lot worse for people’s minds. Trucks with guns in the back window were common even in the school parking lots. The guns didn’t shoot people then either.

  17. Concerned on June 6th, 2022 4:30 pm

    Never loan more than you can afford to give.

  18. Jeffers on June 6th, 2022 2:46 pm

    We will see how the investigation goes. I knew Mike just a little. My family knew him for 40 years and you took something precious from them. He was a generous and kind soul. He loved his cars and I feel even luckier now that I got to drive one.

    I hope you burn forever. That 6X9 is too big for you.

  19. Anne on June 6th, 2022 1:45 pm

    Possible First-Degree Premeditated Murder and spend decades if not rest of life in prison over how much money?
    Dear Lord, is this what some people have come to in their lives?
    The comparison of photos here is chilling, as Fire Chief he looiks like a good man; in mugshot he looks as if possessed by evil itself.
    How does ‘being owed’ change a person?
    God bless us all….

  20. William in Beulah on June 6th, 2022 1:41 pm

    @Cindy, its nothing new, we just live in a world of mass media today, people are seeing the real world and not just their local broadcasting station as it was before, we just hear more today than anytime before.

  21. Maxwell McClintock on June 6th, 2022 1:32 pm

    If someone owes you money, whatever happened to Small Claims Court ?

    A fist fight would be better than shooting someone to death.

    It’s too easy these days to shoot and kill. But you need to think long and hard about the consequences involved after you do that.

    Chief Easterling was an upstanding citizen in the Baker community. Now just another dude behind bars.

    Hooray for the security camera footage. Security cameras are everywhere these days to keep honest people honest.

  22. Cindy on June 6th, 2022 12:23 pm

    What is going on here. Everyone has gone crazy and the violence is out of control. I have never seen anything like this, it’s unbelievable.

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