BAKER, Fla. (WKRG) — Neighbors off Blackberry Circle heard the commotion Sunday night as Okaloosa County Deputies arrested the Baker Fire District Chief for first-degree premeditated murder.

Okaloosa deputies assisted the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office by serving a warrant to Chief Brian Easterlings’ home Sunday, June 5, at about 11:07 pm. Deputies can be heard in the video below yelling “occupants of 1177 Blackberry Circle, exit the residence with your hands in the air.”

Easterling went into custody peacefully. Assistant Chief Mark McKenzie said Easterling has volunteered for the district for nearly 20 years, he has been serving as the chief for 10.

The Baker Fire District Board held an emergency meeting Monday, June, 6, to suspend Easterling. The district this working to remove him from the website and contact pages.

The board appointed Assistant Fire Chief Mark McKenzie to serve as acting chief in the meantime. “Just until we figure out How to move forward with the Department,” said McKenzie.

McKenzie has worked for the Baker Fire District for three years. According to a press release, the board will meet again on June 14 to take further action.

“At 1430 today Baker Fire District Board of Commissioners suspended Chief Brian Easterling from his duties as Chief of Department. Assistant Chief Mark McKenzie has been appointed acting Fire Chief.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Baker Fire District Board of Commissioners is 14 June, 2022 at 1900.”

Mike Paul, Board President

“The board is the authority,” said McKenzie. “They’re the ones that are kind of the entity, kind of like a city or county. We actually work for the board. That’s a regularly scheduled meeting that they have once a month. So we’re just gathering information and the board would act or not act or move forward at that board meeting.”

Several fire district trucks crowded Easterling’s driveway Monday afternoon. The family denied to comment on the arrest and is asking for privacy at this time.

WKRG News 5 will continue to follow this story as investigations continue.