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Officers Feloniously Killed

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The following information concerns duly sworn city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers who died in 2012 as a result of felonious incidents in the line of duty. The law enforcement officers included in this report also met additional criteria (e.g., they had full arrest powers; they ordinarily wore/carried a badge and a firearm).

Overview

  • In 2012, 48 law enforcement officers died from injuries incurred in the line of duty during felonious incidents.
  • Of the officers feloniously killed, 21 were employed by city police departments, including 6 who were members of law enforcement agencies in cities with 250,000 or more inhabitants.
  • Line-of-duty deaths occurred in 26 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • By region, 22 officers were feloniously killed in the South, 8 officers in the West, 6 officers in the Midwest, and 6 officers in the Northeast. Six officers were feloniously killed in U.S. territories; 5 in Puerto Rico and 1 in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

More information about these topics is provided in Tables 1, 2, 15, 16, 21, 22, 28, 29, and 30.

Victim profile

  • The average age of the officers who died in 2012 was 38 years old.
  • The slain officers’ average length of law enforcement service was 12 years.
  • Of the officers who died due to felonious incidents in 2012, 43 were male and 5 were female.
  • By race, 42 of the victim officers were white and 6 were black.

More information about this topic is provided in Tables 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Circumstances

  • 12 officers died as a result of arrest situations.
  • 8 officers were fatally injured during traffic pursuits or stops.
  • 8 officers died as a result of investigating suspicious persons or circumstances.
  • 6 officers were involved in ambush situations.
  • 5 officers were killed as a result of tactical situations (barricaded offender, hostage taking, high-risk entry, etc.).
  • 4 officers who died had responded to disturbance calls.
  • 3 officers suffered fatal injuries while handling, transporting, or maintaining custody of prisoners.
  • 1 officer was conducting investigative activity (surveillance, search, interview, etc.).
  • 1 officer died due to a felonious incident while handling a person with mental illness.

More information about this topic is provided in Tables 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 31, 32, 33, and 34.

Assignments

  • 33 officers were on assigned vehicle patrol when the felonious incidents occurred.
  • 8 officers were assigned to other duties, such as detectives, officers on special assignments, undercover officers, or officers on other types of assignments not listed.
  • 6 of the slain officers were off duty, but acting in an official capacity, at the times of the incidents.
  • 1 slain officer was on foot patrol.
  • 29 on-duty officers who died in 2012 were assisted at the time of the attacks.
  • 13 on-duty officers were alone and unassisted at the time of the attacks.

More information about this topic is provided in Tables 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, and 26.

Weapons

Of officers killed in 2012, most (44) were killed with firearms. Of these, 32 were killed with handguns. (A breakdown of the types of weapons used in these slayings is provided in Table 27.)

  • 3 officers had their weapons stolen.
  • 1 officer was killed with his/her own weapon.
  • 7 officers fired their weapons; 2 officers attempted to use their weapons.
  • 24 officers were slain with firearms when they were 0-5 feet from the offenders.

More information about this topic is provided in Tables 12, 13, 14, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, and 41.

Body armor

In 2012, 24 of the officers feloniously killed were wearing body armor at the time of the incidents.

  • Of these officers, 23 were killed with firearms, incurring wounds as follows:
    • 11 suffered wounds to the front of the head.
    • 4 were wounded in the side of the head.
    • 4 were shot in the neck/throat.
    • 1 was shot in the front upper torso/chest.
    • 1 was shot in the rear of the head.
    • 1 was shot in the rear upper torso/back.
    • 1 officer was shot in the front lower torso/stomach.

More information about this topic is provided in Tables 37, 38, 39, 40, and 41.

Months, days, and times of incidents

  • More officers (8) died from felonious assaults that occurred in August than in any other month in 2012.
  • More officers (10) were involved in fatal assaults that occurred on Tuesday than on any other day of the week.
  • 24 officers were fatally injured in assaults that happened between 12:01 a.m. and noon.
  • 21 officers were fatally injured in assaults that happened between 12:01 p.m. and midnight.
  • The time of day was not reported in 3 incidents.

More information about these topics is provided in Tables 3, 4, 5, 17, and 18.

Profile of alleged known assailants

In 2012, 51 alleged offenders were identified in connection with the 48 law enforcement officers feloniously killed. Of those offenders, the following characteristics are known:

  • The average age of the alleged offenders was 31 years old.
  • The average height was 5 feet 10 inches tall, and the average weight was 177 pounds.
  • 49 of the alleged offenders were male; 2 were female.
  • 30 of the alleged offenders were white, 16 were black, 1 was American Indian/Alaska Native, and 1 was Asian/Pacific Islander. Race was not reported for 3 offenders.
  • 33 of the alleged offenders had prior criminal arrests.
  • 8 of the alleged offenders were under judicial supervision at the time of the incidents.
  • 11 of the alleged offenders were under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the fatal incidents.
  • 7 of the alleged offenders were under the influence of alcohol or were intoxicated at the time of the fatal incidents.

More information about this topic is provided in Tables 42, 43, 44, 45, and 46.