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Summaries of Officers Feloniously Killed

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Note: Occasionally, the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Program is unable to publish summaries concerning some officers who are feloniously killed in the line of duty. These situations may stem from insufficient information, gag orders issued by the courts, or other unusual circumstances. Although written summaries of the deaths of seven law enforcement officers who were killed in 2012 are not included in this publication, all available information is included where applicable in the data tables.

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Alabama

 

Shortly after 4 p.m. on November 23, a 47-year-old deputy sheriff with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) was killed, and a 44-year-old BCSO sergeant was injured while handling a person with mental illness in Fairhope. Emergency medical personnel summoned the veteran deputy, who had approximately 18 years of law enforcement experience; the veteran sergeant, who had more than 16 years of law enforcement experience; and a third officer to a residence to check on the welfare of a man inside. Outside the residence, the man’s mother told the three law enforcement officers she was concerned that her son, who had previous involuntary commitments to custodial mental health facilities, was dead inside the residence. She also told the officers her son did not have access to firearms. The officers walked onto the back porch and knocked on the door. The man spoke to the officers through the door and called dispatch. The dispatcher confirmed the people on the porch were officers and told the man to step outside to speak to them; then the man ended the call. The officers repeatedly asked him to come outside so he could be checked by medical personnel. The officers also asked the man if he had any weapons, to which he answered “no.” Several times during the conversation, the man became irritated, but then calmed down. After nearly half an hour, the man fired on the officers through the back door with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. He fired a total of 10 rounds, striking both the deputy and the sergeant. The victim deputy, who was standing closest to the door, was killed when he was struck in the front upper torso/chest by a round that entered through the armhole of his protective vest and traversed his chest cavity. He was also struck in the front below the waist and in his center chest with a round deflected by his body armor. The victim sergeant was struck in the front upper torso/chest by a round that was deflected by his body armor, in his left arm/hand, and in the front below the waist. All three officers returned fire and the 53-year-old offender, who was known to use drugs and was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the incident, died at the scene. At the time this summary was written, the injured sergeant had not returned to duty.

On February 3, around 4 p.m., a 36-year-old police officer with the Mobile Police Department was fatally wounded while transporting a prisoner to jail. The prisoner was being held on robbery charges. The officer, who had nearly 2 years of law enforcement experience, removed his duty weapon from the holster, as required by jail policies, and left it on the front seat of the patrol unit. (The officer’s back-up weapon and rifle were also in the patrol unit.) While in transit, the prisoner had secretly removed his handcuffs. When the officer escorted the prisoner from the patrol unit, the prisoner produced a knife and stabbed the officer in the rear upper torso/back above his body armor, and fatally in the neck/throat. During the attack, the unarmed officer dropped the keys to his patrol unit. The 24-year-old prisoner escaped in the victim officer’s patrol unit, crashing through the closed doors of the controlled entry port of the jail, and was pursued by law enforcement officers. The prisoner abandoned the patrol unit and, using the victim officer’s duty weapon and two back-up weapons, engaged in a gunfight with law enforcement officers. During the gunfire, the prisoner was justifiably killed. The offender had a prior criminal record including violent crime and drug violations. The victim officer was pronounced dead at a nearby medical center.

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Arizona

 

A deputy sheriff with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) was gunned down while investigating a suspicious person at 4:14 a.m., on January 8 in Anthem. About 25 minutes earlier, another deputy responded to a burglary alarm at a business, where he found a smashed window and an open door. The 50-year-old deputy, a veteran with more than 20 years’ law enforcement experience, was one of three deputies who arrived about 10 minutes later to assist. After clearing the inside of the office, three of the deputies began talking to a business representative who had come to the scene. The fourth deputy began searching the parking lot area to the east and south of the business and observed a minivan with an Illinois license plate. A check of the plate through the MCSO dispatch revealed the vehicle was registered to an Illinois resident and had not been reported stolen. One of the deputies approached the vehicle and observed a man inside lying on his back under a blanket on a mattress with his head towards the rear of the minivan. The veteran deputy then drove his patrol vehicle within 15-20 feet of the driver’s side of the minivan with his emergency lights activated. The deputy exited his patrol vehicle and approached the driver’s side sliding door of the minivan while the other deputy took a position to the rear of the vehicle. When the deputy knocked on the window, the man inside sat up and put his hand on the door trim inside. Although the deputy announced the presence of law enforcement and gave numerous commands for the man to show his hands, the man forcefully opened the sliding door, turned toward the deputy and began firing a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle, striking him in the right arm/hand and in the front lower torso/stomach below his body armor. The victim deputy managed to move himself away from the direct line of fire to a nearby curb as the other deputy returned fire with his service weapon. An exchange of gunfire ensued between the two, during which the deputy reloaded, returned fire, and struck the suspect. The two deputies at the burglary scene responded, one on foot (as he notified dispatch of shots fired) and the other in his patrol vehicle. Both deputies responding to the gunshots did so directly into the suspect’s line of fire. The deputy onsite reloaded a second time and continued exchanging gunfire with the suspect until the suspect fell from the minivan’s sliding door and onto the ground. The man regained his grip on his weapon and resumed firing at all three deputies. The deputy who responded on foot joined the deputy at the rear of the minivan and engaged the suspect with his service weapon as both commanded the suspect to “let go of the gun.” Ultimately, the suspect released the weapon and one of the deputies approached and kicked the rifle away from him. As that deputy covered the suspect, the other two deputies began performing CPR on the victim deputy and advised dispatch an officer was down. Emergency fire and medical personnel responded, as well as other surrounding law enforcement officers. The victim deputy was transported to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to the injuries sustained in the incident. The 30-year-old suspect, who had a criminal history with a prior conviction, was pronounced dead at the scene, justifiably killed by law enforcement. An investigation of the individual revealed he had murdered two people in Sedona two days earlier with the same weapon he had used during this incident.

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California

 

On April 12, around 11 a.m., a 53-year-old deputy sheriff with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department was shot and killed in an ambush while attempting to serve a civil eviction notice in Modesto. The veteran deputy, with 17 years of law enforcement experience, arrived at an apartment building with another deputy and a locksmith in order to evict the resident of one of the apartments. After repeatedly trying to contact the resident without success, the deputy directed the locksmith to drill the lock of the apartment’s front door so they could gain entry. The locksmith knelt in front of the door and began drilling the lock, pausing briefly when he thought he heard movement inside the apartment. When nothing further was heard, he resumed drilling. Just as the locksmith resumed his work, the suspect shot several rounds in rapid succession through the door with a 7.62x39 mm automatic rifle. The locksmith was struck once in the front upper torso/chest and fell, mortally wounded. The deputy was struck five times in the front lower torso/stomach and the front upper torso/chest with rounds that penetrated his body armor, and once, fatally, in the side of his head. The second deputy, who was standing just west of the front door returned fire and then retreated to a corner of the apartment building and called for help on his radio. In a short time, more than 150 law enforcement officers from local, state, and federal agencies responded to the heavily populated residential area and began evacuating people to safety. The suspect barricaded himself in his apartment and refused all attempts at communication. Information was provided indicating the suspect, who had prior military training, was heavily armed with high-powered weapons, armor-piercing ammunition, explosives, body armor, and a gas mask. He also had a cinder block bunker in his residence. For six hours, law enforcement officers attempted to negotiate an end to the standoff. During attempted negotiations, a fire started in the building, which burned for the next four hours and completely demolished the entire structure. After the fire was extinguished, a crime scene investigation began. The 45-year-old suspect, who had a prior criminal record, was eventually located barricaded in the bathroom. An autopsy determined the suspect died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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Colorado

 

On June 24, just after 8 p.m., a 32-year-old patrol officer with the Denver Police Department was killed after responding to a disturbance call. The veteran officer, who had nearly 11 years of law enforcement experience, was working with several other officers in an overtime capacity in a city park. The officer responded on foot to a disturbance in the park and was fatally wounded in the side of her head by a man who fired four rounds from a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun. The 21-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with First-Degree Murder. The suspect had a prior criminal record, which included weapons violations.

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Florida

 

A 52-year-old deputy sheriff with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office was shot and killed at 11:12 a.m. on March 6 while investigating robbery suspects. Moments after a couple was reported to have stolen items from a hotel and then struck an employee with their sport utility vehicle (SUV) while fleeing the scene, the veteran deputy, who had more than 9 years of law enforcement experience, located the SUV on a dead-end street. The deputy parked and exited her patrol vehicle and approached the suspects’ vehicle. She described the male driver and female passenger to dispatch and requested backup because the driver was not complying with her verbal commands. Video footage from the deputy’s patrol vehicle showed the driver opening and closing the door. As the deputy continued her approach, the driver slowly moved the SUV forward, ignoring the deputy’s commands to stop. When he did stop, the driver opened the door wider than before and asked the deputy if she was going to shoot him. With her weapon holstered, video showed the deputy approached the SUV, opened the door, and was met with a series of gunshots from a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, which appeared to come from the driver’s side. The deputy, who was wearing body armor, immediately fell to the ground with injuries to her front upper torso/chest, arms/hands, and a fatal wound to the front of her head. The driver shut the door and both suspects fled in the SUV. The couple stopped in a nearby neighborhood where the passenger allegedly committed a burglary in an occupied residence. Law enforcement officers found the suspects in their SUV parked at the residence where the burglary had just occurred. A vehicle pursuit followed, and both suspects were subsequently apprehended and arrested. The 22-year-old driver, who had a prior criminal record including violent crime, drug violations, police assault, and weapons violations, was charged with First-Degree Premeditated Murder of Law Enforcement Officer, Robbery, Flee/Attempt to Elude High Speed, Resisting Law Enforcement Officer with Violence, Possession of Weapon by Convicted Felon, Failure to Appear, and six counts of Probation Violation. The 19-year-old passenger, who also had a prior criminal record, was charged with First-Degree Felony Murder, Robbery with Deadly Weapon, and Warrant—Sale of Controlled Substance.

On February 16 at 6:22 p.m., a detective with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office was killed and another detective was injured while investigating a drug-related matter in Middleburg. Working as part of a narcotics unit, detectives responded to a residence reportedly housing a methamphetamine lab. When one of the detectives knocked on the front door and announced the unit’s presence, a suspect stepped from behind the door and fired rounds from a .357-magnum revolver. A 35-year-old veteran detective, who had 9 years of law enforcement experience and was wearing body armor, was fatally struck in the front of the head. The other veteran detective, a 37-year-old who had 11 years of law enforcement experience and was also wearing body armor, was wounded in the arms/hands and the front upper torso/chest. The 36-year-old offender, who was a known drug dealer and had a prior criminal record, which included violent crime, police assault, and weapons violations, retreated into the residence and fled through the back door. Still in possession of the revolver, the offender was met by other law enforcement officers, who justifiably shot and killed him as he tried to elude capture. The wounded detective recovered from his injuries and was able to return to duty.

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Georgia

 

A police officer with the Clayton County Police Department died on December 18 after attempting an arrest around 2:45 p.m. the previous day at a motel in Stockbridge. The 24-year-old officer, who had less than 1 year of law enforcement experience, was the second officer to arrive at the motel on a disturbance call. The first officer on the scene spoke to a motel employee who explained that a couple continued to occupy a room two days past the scheduled check-out day, and the female occupant had become irate when asked to vacate the premises. The employee also reported the furniture in the room appeared to be damaged. When the second officer arrived on the scene, the officers made contact with the couple. The first officer asked to look inside the room to verify the furniture was damaged. The couple (who denied causing furniture damage) agreed but reported there were three pit bulls in the room. At the first officer’s request, they secured their pit bulls. The woman went inside the motel room with the first officer, and the man stayed outside with the second officer. After surveying the damage to the motel room, the officer emerged and indicated the couple should be placed under arrest. The first officer then walked behind the man and attempted to handcuff him. The man began to pull away, and the second officer grabbed the man’s left arm to try to pull the arm behind his back so he could be handcuffed. The man tried to grab the first officer’s electronic control device (ECD), but the officer took it and ordered the man to the ground. The man did not comply with the officer’s order, so the officer deployed the ECD. The man cried out and began running away. The second officer, who was wearing body armor, ran after the suspect and radioed dispatch, advising he was chasing a suspect. The chase led to a narrow area between the back of a building and a retaining wall, where the suspect stopped and fired two rounds at the second officer from a .357-caliber semiautomatic handgun, fatally striking him in the neck/throat. The first officer then fired his weapon several times, killing the 41-year-old suspect. The suspect, who was on parole and under the influence of narcotics at the time of the incident, had a prior criminal record including violent crime, drug violations, and weapons violations.

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Kansas

 

Just after 6 p.m. on December 16, a corporal and an officer with the Topeka Police Department were killed while investigating a suspicious person/circumstance. A 50-year-old corporal, who had 8½ years of law enforcement experience; a 29-year-old officer, who had 1½ years of law enforcement experience; and a third officer were dispatched to a grocery store to investigate a vehicle possibly being used in a narcotics activity. Upon arriving, they found a tan sedan with three occupants inside, two females and one male. The officers parked their patrol unit behind the vehicle and asked the female driver to come outside to the rear of the vehicle to speak with them. One officer went to stand near the patrol unit to radio dispatch and run the driver’s information for wants or warrants. The other officer and the corporal, both wearing body armor, stood between the patrol unit and the vehicle and spoke with the female driver. Suddenly, the male occupant of the vehicle exited the rear driver’s side door, turned towards the officer and the corporal, and shot the officer at close range in the front of the head with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, causing him to fall to the ground. The suspect fired another round, striking the corporal in the side of the head. Both the victim officer and the victim corporal died from their wounds. The suspect then got into the driver’s seat of the vehicle as the remaining officer returned fire. The suspect fled, driving over the victim officer’s body as he left. Dispatchers broadcasted an “attempt to locate” notification, and the tan sedan was found a short time later behind the residence of the suspect’s parents. The house was cleared, but the suspect was not inside. Later that night, a citizen reported the suspect was hiding in an apartment. A perimeter was set around the apartment, and negotiators attempted to contact the suspect but were unsuccessful. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s SWAT team deployed tear gas into the apartment, and the 22-year-old suspect came out holding a handgun to his head. He made aggressive movements towards the SWAT team and was justifiably killed by law enforcement officers. The suspect had a prior criminal record including violent crime and weapons violations.

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Kentucky

 

A 31-year-old deputy sheriff with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was fatally wounded while investigating suspicious persons/circumstances just before 2 a.m. on November 14. The deputy radioed dispatch to report he would be out of his patrol unit to investigate a vehicle parked in the middle of a road; he provided the suspect vehicle’s registration plate information. Less than one minute later, the deputy radioed dispatch advising shots had been fired and he had been hit. The suspect fled the scene. The deputy was found with a gunshot wound in the front upper torso/chest and a fatal wound in the front lower torso/stomach from a .22-caliber revolver. The veteran deputy, who had more than 8 years of law enforcement experience, died during surgery later that morning. The 49-year-old suspect, who was under the influence of alcohol and who had a prior criminal record, was apprehended by officers from the Kentucky State Police and the Campbell Police Department later that morning. He was subsequently charged with Murder.

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Massachusetts

 

On June 4, a patrol officer with the Springfield Police Department (SPD) was killed after responding to a domestic call just after 1 p.m. The 55-year-old veteran officer, who had nearly 36 years of law enforcement experience, was dispatched to an apartment to escort a woman’s boyfriend to remove his belongings from her residence. Earlier that day, the woman had obtained a restraining order against her boyfriend. The officer, the woman and her young child, her aunt, and the boyfriend went down a hallway and climbed stairs to the top floor where the woman lived. As the woman opened her door, the boyfriend forced the woman inside and quickly closed the door, leaving the officer and the aunt in the hallway. The officer tried to force the door open, and he and the aunt heard the woman pleading with her boyfriend and then heard a gunshot. The aunt ran from the top floor, and as she fled, she heard more gunshots and a scuffle. The aunt hid in an alcove at the bottom of the stairwell and asked a tenant in a nearby apartment to call the police. The aunt then heard someone come down the stairs and leave the building. A witness saw a man walk from the building to a vehicle while holding or concealing something to the front of his pants. Calls were made to 911, and responding law enforcement officers found the victim officer on the top floor landing with several gunshot wounds. The victim officer, who was wearing body armor, had been shot with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun at close range in his arms/hands, front upper torso/chest, and fatally in the front of his head. Officers found the woman inside the apartment with a gunshot wound to the face. Both victims were taken to a local hospital where the officer was pronounced dead at 1:31 p.m. The woman underwent surgery and was in stable condition after the incident. The aunt provided information to law enforcement officers about the suspect, who was in his mid-30s, and about the suspect’s vehicle. Officers found his vehicle parked in front of the apartment building, and the suspect was slumped over the steering wheel with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the front upper torso/chest and a 9 mm handgun on the floor between his feet. Officers checked for a pulse and began first aid. The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:46 p.m.

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Michigan

 

A 39-year-old officer with the West Bloomfield Police Department (WBPD) was fatally wounded during a tactical situation around 11 p.m. on September 9. About an hour earlier, seven officers with the WBPD responded to the residence of a man who was distraught over financial, personal, and legal issues. He had retreated to a second floor bedroom and fired a single gunshot. Officers and family members made several attempts to call the residence, but the man did not answer. For nearly an hour, officers remained outside of the residence, but did not see the man or hear any sounds coming from inside. Believing the man may have committed suicide or be in need of medical attention, officers decided to enter the house. The officers established a safety perimeter around the house, and medical personnel waited nearby. A team of five officers entered the house in single file behind a ballistic shield. Officers identified themselves and expressed their intentions to help the man. When they approached the upstairs bedroom door, the man fired multiple rounds from a 9 mm automatic handgun through the door and walls. At least one round was stopped by the shield. However, another round struck an officer, who was wearing body armor, in the front of his head. The other officers removed the victim officer from the house and took him to paramedics waiting outside. The veteran officer, who had nearly 14 years of law enforcement experience, was rushed to a local hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly before midnight. The offender remained barricaded inside the house and engaged in extensive and repeated exchanges of gunfire with law enforcement officers over the next 20 hours. He refused all attempts by law enforcement to communicate with him. Construction equipment was eventually used to knock down a significant portion of the wall in the upper level bedroom where the man was believed to be located. Officers then used a robot camera to view inside the bedroom, where they saw the offender dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. Further investigation revealed the 50-year-old offender had no known criminal history, but was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the incident.

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Mississippi

 

On May 1 at 11:15 a.m., a 37-year-old investigator on detective duty with the Pearl Police Department was killed during a tactical situation. The investigator, who had more than 3 years of law enforcement experience, was with four detectives to serve a search warrant at an apartment complex. The detectives, believing the suspect was not home at the time of the search, had the apartment manager open the door to the apartment. The suspect was hiding in the shower stall in a back bathroom. The detectives entered the bathroom and instructed the suspect to show his hands. When the suspect did not comply after several commands, a detective made a move for his electronic control device. The suspect then began shooting at the detectives, and an exchange of gunfire ensued. The investigator was shot with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun in the neck/throat and fatally in the side of his head. A veteran detective, who was 44 years old and had 10 years of law enforcement experience, was shot in the arms/hands and in the front below the waist but survived the attack. Another detective injured his arm during the incident. A helicopter was dispatched to the scene, where emergency rescue personnel tried to resuscitate the victim investigator without success. The victim investigator was airlifted to the hospital and pronounced dead. The 30-year-old suspect, who was on probation at the time of the incident, had a criminal history, which included police assault, drug violations, and weapons violations. He was justifiably killed at the scene.

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Missouri

 

A 31-year-old deputy sheriff with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) was fatally wounded in an ambush shortly after 2 a.m. on December 15. The deputy, who had 3 months of law enforcement experience, was one of two deputies who responded to a call to assist emergency medical services (EMS) personnel treating an unconscious woman lying in the front yard of a residence in Mineral Point. When the two deputies arrived, they observed a paramedic and a woman attempting to aid the unconscious woman. The paramedic told the deputies a man at the scene ran into the nearby wood line when they arrived; the woman assisting the paramedic reported the man was her brother. After the deputies helped load the patient into the ambulance, the other woman began walking towards her residence. As the deputies followed her to gather additional information about the unconscious woman, a gunshot was fired from in front of them. The deputy at the rear took cover by the driver’s side of the patrol vehicle, but the deputy behind the woman fell to the ground. Realizing his colleague had been shot, the other deputy advised the EMS personnel to stay in the ambulance and radioed dispatch to report shots had been fired and an officer was down. The deputy tried to locate the shooter when a second gunshot knocked the driver’s side rear-view mirror off of the patrol vehicle. He ducked and heard another gunshot that shattered the passenger side window. He then observed two officers with the Potosi Police Department moving toward his location. The woman, who had run into the woods to talk to her brother after the first gunshot, came to the side of the patrol vehicle and told the deputy that her brother was the shooter. She said she had tried to physically take the firearm away from him, but was unsuccessful. She also reported her brother had previously dug holes in the wooded area to hide in the event someone was looking for him. During this time, one of the officers moved to the victim deputy and dragged him to the driver’s side of the patrol vehicle. Unable to find a pulse, the officer began performing CPR on the victim deputy. A sergeant with the WCSO arrived and, along with the deputy, provided cover as the two officers carried the victim deputy to the back of the ambulance. The victim deputy, who was wearing body armor, was taken to a local hospital where he died later that day from a gunshot wound to his neck/throat from a 12-gauge bolt-action shotgun. Around 5 p.m., law enforcement officers captured the 30-year-old suspect. He was charged with First-Degree Murder, Armed Criminal Action, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. The suspect, who was under the influence of alcohol and on probation at the time of the incident, had prior mental disorders. He was a known drug user with a prior criminal record, which included violent crime and weapons violations.

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Nevada

 

A former deputy sheriff with the Elko County Sheriff’s Office died January 17 as the result of injuries sustained during an investigative activity nearly three decades earlier. At 9 a.m. on June 26, 1982, the 26-year veteran of law enforcement responded to the scene of a traffic accident at a rest stop in Jackpot. When the then 48-year-old deputy arrived at the scene, he spoke with the driver of one of the vehicles and asked him for his driver’s license. The deputy returned to his patrol vehicle and used his radio to report that the man appeared disoriented and to request an ambulance be sent to the location. The deputy then went to the front of his vehicle and began to write an accident report. Witnesses said the man went to speak to the deputy, and when the deputy turned to him, the man shot the deputy at point-blank range in the side of the head with a .22-caliber revolver. After the victim deputy fell to the ground, the offender stood over him and fired another round, but it missed. The offender then took the victim deputy’s handgun and started firing both firearms at witnesses. He approached one of the witnesses in an attempt to steal his vehicle. In response to the offender’s actions, the witness and his brother returned gunfire on the offender. Both the victim deputy and the offender were taken to a local hospital where the offender died the next day. The victim deputy was in a coma for a period of time after the shooting, and although he awoke from the coma, he was never able to return to work due to the gunshot wound to his head. According to the victim deputy’s death certificate, the injuries received during this incident were considered a contributing factor to his death, which occurred approximately 29½ years later.

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New Hampshire

 

On April 12, the 48-year-old chief of police of the Greenland Police Department was killed, and four detectives from other agencies were wounded during a tactical situation conducted as part of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Drug Task Force (DTF). At 6:20 p.m., the DTF, tasked with executing a search warrant, forcibly entered a residence after several knock-and-announce attempts were ignored. Immediately upon entry, the team was met with gunfire from a man who was armed with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and a .357-magnum handgun. Four detectives were injured, including a 34-year-old detective with more than 7 years of law enforcement experience from the Rochester Police Department (wearing body armor and injured in the front upper torso/chest), a 31-year-old detective with 10 years of law enforcement experience from the University of New Hampshire Police Department (wearing body armor and injured in the arms/hands), a 34-year-old detective with nearly 10½ years of law enforcement experience from the Newmarket Police Department (wearing body armor and injured in the neck/throat), and a 32-year-old detective from the Dover Police Department (injured in the front upper torso/chest). Other detectives returned fire to provide security for the wounded detectives allowing them to retreat and receive treatment. After the initial volley of gunfire, the chief of police, a veteran of law enforcement with 26 years of experience, was wearing body armor, but was fatally shot in the front of the head by the 29-year-old suspect. A standoff ensued, and the body of the suspect was recovered hours later in the basement of the residence, where he had killed his girlfriend and then committed suicide. The suspect, who was on conditional release and was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the incident, had an extensive criminal history. At the time this summary was written, at least three of the injured detectives had not returned to duty.

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New York

 

On December 24 at 5:36 a.m., a 43-year-old lieutenant with the Webster Police Department was killed in an ambush while responding in his capacity as a volunteer fireman to a report of a house and vehicle on fire. Within seconds of arriving at the scene, the firefighters were ambushed by a concealed individual who was firing rounds from a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle. The lieutenant realized what was happening and shouted to the other firefighters advising shots were being fired. As firefighters were being wounded, the off-duty lieutenant, who had 19 years of law enforcement experience, exited the fire truck from the passenger side and, now acting in the capacity of a law enforcement officer, traveled on foot in the direction of the shooter. During this advance, the veteran lieutenant was fatally shot in the front of the head. Due to the continuing threat to first responders, it was nearly an hour before a medic could safely assess the victim lieutenant’s condition. After the threat area was secured, the victim lieutenant was transported to a medical examiner’s office where he was pronounced dead. The 62-year-old suspect, who had a prior criminal record, which included murder, committed suicide at the scene.

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North Carolina

 

Just after 11 a.m. on July 17, an off-duty master police officer with the Lumberton Police Department (LPD) was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a suspect who had outstanding warrants. The 32-year-old officer was driving his personal vehicle when he spotted the suspect riding in the passenger seat of a vehicle. The officer knew the individual was wanted for outstanding warrants. The officer called for assistance and followed the vehicle as it pulled into a convenience store. The driver entered the store, leaving the suspect sitting in the vehicle. The officer, who had more than 6 years of law enforcement experience, pulled up alongside the passenger side of the suspect’s vehicle just as an LPD patrol vehicle pulled behind the suspect’s vehicle at an angle. Both the off-duty officer and the responding officer exited their vehicles at the same time. As the responding officer began to approach from the back of the vehicle, he heard shots. The suspect had apparently produced a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun and shot the victim officer in the side of the head, the neck/throat, and fatally in the front upper torso/chest. The responding officer called for backup, drew his weapon, and kept the suspect at gunpoint until additional officers arrived. The 27-year-old suspect knew the victim officer through a previous encounter with law enforcement and was on supervised release from previous criminal convictions at the time of the incident. He was taken into custody and charged with First-Degree Murder.

A 23-year-old deputy sheriff with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office was shot and killed while answering a domestic call around 12:50 a.m. on July 26. After 911 received an open-line call (the caller did not speak) from a residence, the deputy, who had nearly 3 years of law enforcement experience, responded with another deputy to the residence from which the call was made. A woman at the residence told the deputies the man there had been drinking. The man emerged in the doorway of the mobile home holding a firearm, and the deputies ordered him to drop his weapon. He threw down the weapon, which turned out to be a toy gun. The man then went back inside and returned holding a 12-gauge shotgun. He jumped down from the trailer and walked toward the deputies, who backed up about 15 feet toward the patrol unit to create space. The man fired his weapon, striking the 23-year-old deputy, who immediately returned fire. The victim deputy, who was wearing body armor, was wounded in the neck/throat, arms/hands, and suffered a fatal wound to the front of the head. The second deputy on the scene also returned fire, justifiably killing the 32-year-old suspect. The suspect had a prior criminal record and was determined to be under the influence of narcotics as well as alcohol.

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Ohio

 

On January 23, a former police officer with the Akron Police Department died as the result of a gunshot wound received while conducting an armed robbery investigation. At 3:20 a.m. on April 10, 1965, the officer, who was 25 years old and had almost 2 years of law enforcement experience at the time of the incident, was with another officer and a police reserve officer when they stopped a vehicle during their investigation. Shortly thereafter, both officers and the reserve officer were found shot and lying on the pavement. The three victim officers were transported to the hospital, where one officer was pronounced dead and the other officers were treated. Although these two officers survived, their injuries were permanently disabling. The 25-year-old suspect, who had an extensive criminal history including violent crime and weapons violations, was arrested. Since one officer died on the day of the incident, the suspect was charged with First-Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer and was sentenced to life in prison. The former police officer who survived the initial attack continuously struggled with serious health complications of long-term quadriplegia due to the gunshot wound to the neck/throat that he sustained. According to the chief medical examiner, the injuries received during the incident were considered a contributing factor to his death, which occurred nearly 47 years later.

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Pennsylvania

 

A 40-year-old police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department was shot before 6 a.m. on August 18 in an attempted robbery. Upon finishing his shift, the veteran officer, who had more than 19 years of law enforcement experience, left his precinct in plain clothes and began walking toward a bus stop a few blocks away. According to investigative reports, two males approached the off-duty officer and attempted to rob him. Before the officer could retrieve his service weapon, one of the men shot the officer at close range with a .40-caliber handgun, mortally wounding him in the front upper torso/chest. The two men then fled the scene. At 5:52 a.m., law enforcement officers responded to a radio call of a “male down on the highway.” Pedestrians at the scene directed officers to the victim officer, who was lying on the pavement by an empty lot. Responding law enforcement officers observed the victim had been shot and identified him as a police officer. A medic unit transported the victim officer to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:23 a.m. Subsequent investigation led to the arrest of a 23-year-old suspect on August 24 and a 19-year-old suspect on August 28. The 23-year-old suspect, who had a prior criminal record including drug violations, weapons violations, and police assault, was on parole at the time of the incident. He was charged with Murder, Criminal Conspiracy, Robbery, Violation of Uniform Firearms Act (VUFA)–Former Convict, VUFA–No License, Theft–Unlawful Taking, Theft–Receiving Stolen Property, Possession of Instrument of Crime, and VUFA–On Streets. The 19-year-old suspect, who had a prior criminal record, was known to law enforcement as a drug dealer/possessor. He was charged with Murder, Possession of Instrument of Crime, Robbery, Firearms Carried without License, and Carrying Firearm in Philadelphia.

On September 13 around 5:40 p.m., a 34-year-old patrol officer with the Plymouth Township Police Department was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a suspect who had previously been involved in an automobile accident. After crashing his vehicle, the driver abandoned it and fled on foot to a nearby bike trail. The officer, who had 5 years of law enforcement experience, and his K-9 partner, chased the suspect, who shot at them with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. The veteran officer, who was wearing body armor, was fatally struck in the front of the head. The K-9 was wounded in the right hip. The 44-year-old suspect had a prior criminal record, which included weapons violations and police assault. The suspect, who was on probation at the time of the incident, turned the handgun on himself and committed suicide. The victim officer was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The K-9 survived its injury.

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Puerto Rico

 

An agent with the Police of Puerto Rico, Bayamon, was killed in a drug-related incident on August 14 around 3:30 p.m. The 45-year-old veteran agent, who had nearly 16 years of law enforcement experience, went with four other agents to conduct a planned drug raid. The team travelled to an abandoned house where they suspected drug activity was occurring. The agents exited their vehicle and went to the house where they found a man in possession of controlled substances. The agent identified himself as a law enforcement officer and gained control of the man. Suddenly, another man appeared with an unknown caliber handgun and shot the agent in the front of his head and in his rear upper torso/back. Both suspects escaped to a wooded area outside the residence. Paramedics arrived to assist, but the victim agent died from the head wound while at the scene. The suspects were located and arrested a short time later. The 26-year-old suspect was charged with First-Degree Murder and weapons violations. The other suspect was charged with Homicide, drug violations, and weapons violations.

An off-duty agent with the Police of Puerto Rico, Hatillo, was ambushed as he drove his personal vehicle through a neighborhood at 10:20 p.m. on June 26. The 37-year-old agent, who had nearly 14 years of law enforcement experience, was fired upon by three individuals with various caliber handguns. Seventeen rounds were fired at the veteran agent, fatally striking him in the left side of his front upper torso/chest. The suspects knew the victim agent from previous law enforcement encounters. A 25-year-old suspect known to use, deal, and possess drugs, was arrested on October 2 and charged with First-Degree Murder and Weapon Possession. At the time this summary was written, the two other suspects remained at large.

A 40-year-old sergeant with the Police of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, was shot and killed on January 1 while conducting a traffic stop. Just after 9:30 a.m., the veteran sergeant, who had 19 years of law enforcement experience and who was wearing body armor at the time of the incident, was in the process of issuing a traffic citation when he was shot twice in the side of his head with an unknown caliber handgun. The partially completed citation and the pen were found at the scene. A witness, who was driving by the incident, saw a male suspect walking from the area of the vehicle and shooting a handgun towards the victim sergeant. At the time this summary was written, the offender remained at large.

A police officer with the Police of Puerto Rico, Patillas, was killed at 1:45 a.m. on January 18 while responding to a burglary in progress. The 54-year-old officer, a veteran of law enforcement with 23 years of experience, and his partner responded to an alarm at a gasoline station. When the officers arrived, a shooting ensued between the officers and two suspects. The victim officer was shot in the arms/hands and fatally in the rear upper torso/back by a suspect using a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun, which was fired at close range. One of the suspects, a 28-year-old male, was wounded in the exchange of gunfire. He was arrested, taken to a hospital for treatment, and later charged with Murder, Burglary, and Firearm Law Violation. At the time this summary was written, the second suspect remained at large.

A 34-year-old agent with the Police of Puerto Rico (POPR), Toa Baja, was slain while responding to a robbery in progress on November 7 at 8 p.m. As two armed individuals exited a store they had just robbed, two agents cut them off. One individual fled toward the highway, and one agent chased him. The other individual ran to the back of a nearby store with the other agent in pursuit. The second man hid inside the store, but the second agent, who had 2 years of law enforcement experience, found him and pulled him outside. After the two had exited the main door of the store, the robber pulled a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun from his pants pocket and fired four rounds at the agent, striking him in the neck/throat above his body armor and in the side of his head. The robber then ran away, and the other agent, who saw that the victim agent was wounded, administered first aid and called state and municipal emergency medical personnel. Responding paramedics transferred the victim agent to a hospital where he was treated for his injuries; however, he succumbed to a gunshot wound he received in the side of his head. Personnel with the POPR and the Institute of Forensic Sciences conducted an extensive investigation and identified the suspect through a video and photograph. The 28-year-old suspect, who had a prior criminal record, which included violent crime, drug violations, and weapons violations, was arrested on November 8. He was charged with First-Degree Murder, Possession of a Firearm, and Robbery. Two other individuals were also arrested in connection with the robbery.

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South Carolina

 

A 48-year-old master corporal with the Aiken Department of Public Safety was fatally shot while investigating suspicious persons/circumstances around 7:40 a.m. on January 28. The 28-year veteran of law enforcement responded to the scene of a report of a suspicious vehicle. When the corporal arrived and exited her patrol vehicle, a man in the suspicious vehicle fired three rounds at her from a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun. The victim corporal was shot in the front upper torso/chest, but the round was deflected by her body armor. She was also shot in the neck/throat and fatally in the rear of her head. The victim corporal was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The offender led responding law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase, but was able to escape. Authorities learned the vehicle had been reported stolen and believed that the owner was the suspect’s father. The vehicle was subsequently located in Batesville-Leesville about 30 miles from the scene of the shooting. The suspect was arrested there a short time later. During further investigation that same day, the suspect’s pregnant girlfriend was found shot to death inside the apartment they shared in Augusta, Georgia. The 26-year-old suspect, who had a criminal history, which included violent crime, drug violations, and weapons violations, was charged with Felony Murder and Possession of a Weapon During Violent Crime.

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Tennessee

 

A 32-year-old detective with the Memphis Police Department was killed and another 32-year-old detective was wounded on December 14 during a tactical situation. At 8 a.m., a team of detectives entered through the front door of a residence to execute a search warrant. The detectives announced their presence and encountered a male subject. As that subject was being taken into custody without incident, the detectives came under fire from another man who was hiding in a bedroom and shooting a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. One detective was struck and wounded in the front below the waist; he was removed from the scene and taken to the hospital. As another detective, a 9½-year veteran of law enforcement, turned to engage the suspect, she was fatally struck in the rear upper torso/back when a round entered through the armhole of her body armor. During the exchange of gunfire, the 21-year-old offender fired 10 rounds and was shot twice; he was taken to a medical center for treatment. The suspect was arrested and charged with First-Degree Murder.

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Texas

 

At 2:20 a.m. on April 6, a 40-year-old senior police officer with the Austin Police Department was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance call. The veteran officer, who had nearly 17 years of law enforcement experience, was dispatched to a major retail store in reference to an intoxicated male who was reportedly “wandering around” inside the store. The first to arrive, the senior police officer met with one of the store’s night managers who went with the officer to approach the man near the produce section. When the officer told the man he needed to speak with him, the man ran towards the store’s exit. The officer chased the suspect and tackled him near the exit. During the struggle, the suspect produced a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun and fired three rounds behind his back, one round striking the officer in the front upper torso/chest, which was protected by his body armor, and another round fatally wounding the victim officer in the neck/throat. Two store employees subdued the suspect and took the handgun away from him. Another employee used the victim officer’s radio and called for help, stating the officer had been shot. Responding officers and emergency medical personnel attempted CPR on the victim officer, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The 24-year-old suspect, who had a prior criminal record, which included drug violations, was arrested and charged with Capital Murder. He was under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the incident.

A sergeant with the Bellaire Police Department was killed after a traffic stop and pursuit shortly before 9 a.m. on December 24. The 53-year-old veteran sergeant, who had more than 27 years of law enforcement experience, was on patrol in his marked patrol unit when he noticed a vehicle matching the description of one that had been used in area robberies a few weeks earlier. The sergeant followed the vehicle and observed the driver exceeding the posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour. The sergeant initiated a traffic stop and ordered the driver to exit his vehicle, but the driver sped off. The sergeant called for backup, and a high-speed chase ensued during which the suspect hit a truck. The driver of the truck began pursuing the suspect as well, at times obscuring the sergeant’s view of the suspect’s vehicle. After approximately ¾ of a mile, the suspect pulled the vehicle into a parking lot of an automobile body shop in Houston and came to a stop after striking a dumpster. The pickup truck pulled into the lot, followed by the sergeant. The sergeant exited his patrol unit, again ordered the suspect to get out of his vehicle, and then began to struggle to gain control of him through the partially open driver’s door. The owner of the body shop approached the vehicle in an attempt to assist the sergeant. The patrol unit’s dashboard camera showed that the sergeant struggled with the driver for about 30 seconds until the driver retrieved a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun from inside the vehicle and fatally shot the sergeant at close range in the front of the head. The suspect then exited the vehicle and fatally shot the body shop owner in the front upper torso/chest. The suspect pointed his firearm at the driver of the pickup truck, but additional law enforcement officers arrived at the scene. The suspect fired on them, then fled on foot. One officer stayed on the scene to assist the victims while other law enforcement officers pursued the 21-year-old suspect in a running gunfight, during which the suspect was shot twice. Officers located the suspect, who had a prior criminal record, a few minutes later hiding under a building about a block away. He was taken into custody and charged with Capital Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer and Murder. The victim sergeant was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Shortly after 12 noon on August 13, a 41-year-old constable with the Brazos County Constable’s Office was killed during an ambush as he was delivering an eviction notice in College Station. Two officers with the College Park Police Department (CPPD) were wounded in the shootout that followed. Several 911 calls came in from the area indicating there was an active shooter, including calls reporting an officer down. One eyewitness caller said he watched an officer exit his vehicle and approach a residence on foot when a man came outside of the residence and shot the officer. The victim officer turned out to be the constable, who had 18½ years of law enforcement experience. The veteran constable had been shot with a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun in the rear upper torso/back, the front lower torso/stomach, and fatally in the rear of his head. While on the phone, the caller reported the shooter was firing in his direction and appeared to have shot a woman in her truck, whose vehicle rolled out into the street after she was struck with gunfire. During this time, several law enforcement officers responded to the area, including the two CPPD officers. The officers and bystanders were forced to take cover behind vehicles and stay in place due to the suspect’s gunfire. A 54-year-old CPPD officer, with 31 years of law enforcement experience, commanded the suspect to put down his weapons. The suspect refused and fired in the direction of the veteran officer, hitting the vehicle the officer was using as cover. At some point during the confrontation, the officer, who was wearing body armor, was struck by gunfire in the rear upper torso/back. Additional officers from other law enforcement agencies arrived on the scene and began setting up a perimeter. A 24-year-old CPPD officer, with nearly 2 years of law enforcement experience, was also wearing body armor and seeking cover behind a vehicle when he was struck in the front below the waist and the rear below the waist. The wounded officer was evacuated from the scene. As responding officers made efforts to reach the woman who had been shot in her truck, they learned another individual had also been shot and killed. After law enforcement officers gained tactical advantage from a backyard gate and saw the armed suspect, they fired their weapons and wounded him. They advanced toward the suspect and fired again when it appeared he was reaching for a weapon. The advancing officers gave orders to the 35-year-old suspect, who had a prior criminal record, to show his hands and he complied. He was then placed into custody and removed from the scene. The shootout lasted less than 30 minutes. A protective sweep of the suspect’s residence revealed several weapons near the front door, including 7.62 mm rifles and the .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun. The suspect later died from his wounds. Both of the wounded CPPD officers recovered and returned to duty.

A 29-year-old patrol officer with the El Paso Police Department was attacked while in an off-duty capacity on September 25. Just before 5 p.m., the officer noticed three unknown suspects vandalizing his personal vehicle, which was parked in front of his residence. One of the suspects scratched the vehicle with a piece of metal as he walked by. The officer exited his residence to confront the suspect about damaging the vehicle. The three suspects ignored the officer, so he got in his vehicle and followed them. The officer, who had more than 4 years of law enforcement experience, exited his vehicle, identified himself as a law enforcement officer, and attempted to begin an investigation of the vandalism. One of the suspects, a 17-year-old with a prior criminal record, stepped in the middle of the conversation and struck the officer in the face with his fist. The suspect then grabbed the officer around his knees and caused him to fall to the ground and hit his head on the concrete. Though the officer was unconscious, the suspect beat the victim officer multiple times in the face and head, and then the suspects fled. The victim officer suffered a fractured skull, hemorrhaging, and multiple facial fractures due to injuries obtained to the front, side, and rear of his head. The victim officer succumbed to his injuries 10 days later on October 5. The suspect was charged with Capital Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer and Evading Arrest/Detention.

A 26-year-old patrol deputy with the Reagan County Sheriff’s Office was fatally wounded as he responded to an alley to investigate a suspicious person at 6:20 p.m. on August 1. The off-duty deputy, who had more than 5 years of law enforcement experience, found a man seated in the backyard of a residence in Big Lake. The veteran deputy parked his patrol vehicle and, as he walked in front of the vehicle towards the man, the man fired one round from a .223-caliber bolt-action rifle from a distance of more than 50 feet. The round struck the deputy in the rear lower torso/back. The injured deputy ran east from the scene while calling for backup on his portable radio. Witnesses saw the 42-year-old offender follow the deputy for a short distance before returning to the residence. The deputy was able to tell emergency medical personnel and responding officers the offender’s name before he succumbed to his wound. The officers entered the offender’s residence, but exited when the offender began firing his weapon. The offender remained barricaded in the residence until late the next morning when he surrendered to SWAT officers after an unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide. The offender, who was a known drug user and had a prior criminal record including police assault, violent crime, and weapons violations, died six days later from his self-inflicted injury.

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Utah

 

On January 4, a 30-year-old master officer with the Ogden Police Department (OPD) was shot during a tactical situation around 8:40 in the evening, and succumbed to his injuries the next day. Five other law enforcement officers were shot during the same incident in which the suspect ambushed the officers. The officers, who were serving a drug-related warrant as part of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force, identified themselves as law enforcement and entered the suspect’s residence with a search warrant. An OPD master officer, a 36-year-old veteran of law enforcement with more than 14 years of experience, was attempting to clear a bathroom when the suspect shot the officer, wounding him in the side of the head with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. The injured officer and other officers returned gunfire, injuring the suspect. The officers managed to rescue the injured 36-year-old officer from the bathroom area. The suspect then began exchanging gunfire with another OPD master officer who had been providing cover for the rescue of the injured officer. This master officer, a 30-year-old with 7 years of law enforcement experience, ran out of ammunition and called, “I’m out!” to the other officers. The suspect then advanced on the 30-year-old veteran officer. A third OPD master officer, a 33-year-old with 7 years of law enforcement experience, positioned himself to assist the 30-year-old officer who was out of ammunition. The 33-year-old veteran officer was shot by the suspect’s gunfire in the front of the head and the front lower torso/stomach below his body armor. As the 33-year-old officer fell, the suspect turned to the 30-year-old officer and shot him in the front upper torso/chest, front lower torso/stomach, front below the waist, arms/hands, and in the rear upper torso/back. The wounded suspect also shot three more officers as they attempted to rescue the 30- and 33-year-old OPD master officers. The three additional officers who were injured included a 29-year-old OPD officer with nearly 5 years of law enforcement experience (wounded in the front of the head, arms/hands, and above his body armor in the neck/throat), a 35-year-old Weber County Sheriff’s Office sergeant with more than 10 years of law enforcement experience (wounded in the rear upper torso/back, front lower torso/stomach, and arms/hands), and a 37-year-old Roy Police Department (RPD) officer with nearly 5 years of law enforcement experience (wounded below his body armor in the rear below the waist). Eventually, the injured officers were able to escape the residence as the suspect shot at them from the front doorway. The suspect then retreated to a rear bedroom and reloaded his handgun magazines. After a subsequent exchange of gunfire with responding law enforcement officers who were positioned in the backyard of the residence, the 37-year-old suspect (who had been shot four times) was arrested and charged with Aggravated Murder, seven counts of Aggravated Attempted Murder, Marijuana Cultivation, and Possessing a Dangerous Weapon. At the time this summary was written, only the RPD officer had returned to duty.

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Washington

 

A park ranger with the Mount Rainier National Park Service (NPS) was shot and killed around 10:40 a.m. on January 1, while she was assisting another ranger who was making a traffic stop. Shortly before the incident, a man drove his vehicle past a checkpoint set up to ensure vehicles were four-wheel drives or equipped with chains due to the poor road and weather conditions in the park. The ranger who was operating the checkpoint planned to meet another ranger at a safe area to conduct a traffic stop. The ranger from the checkpoint followed the suspect’s vehicle while a 34-year-old ranger, who had 11 years of law enforcement experience, came from the opposite direction. The 34-year-old veteran ranger positioned her vehicle to block the roadway and turned on the emergency lights. After the two rangers had blocked in the man’s vehicle, the man exited his vehicle and began shooting a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle at them. The rangers backed up and attempted to move a safe distance from the line of fire, their vehicles bouncing off of the snow banks in the process. The ranger from the checkpoint radioed dispatch indicating “shots fired” and successfully escaped the scene. An NPS maintenance employee had parked about 400 feet above the traffic stop to divert oncoming traffic and witnessed the entire incident. He reported the other ranger’s vehicle slammed into a snow bank as she was maneuvering away after the shots had been fired. The employee went to her vehicle and found the ranger had been struck by the gunfire. Because the vehicle was still in gear and the doors would not open, he broke the passenger side window in order to check on her. One of the rounds fired had penetrated her body armor, wounding her in the front upper torso/chest. The victim park ranger received a fatal gunshot wound to the front of her head. The 24-year-old suspect fled on foot and was found dead in a creek within the park on January 2. The suspect’s cause of death was determined to be accidental drowning and hypothermia. The suspect had a prior criminal record and was found to be under the influence of alcohol and narcotics at the time of the incident.

Just before 1 a.m. on February 23, a 44-year-old trooper with the Washington State Patrol, Bremerton, requested information on a vehicle during a traffic stop in Gorst. When dispatchers could not make further contact with the trooper, a deputy sheriff was sent to investigate and found the veteran trooper, who had 16 years of law enforcement experience and who was wearing body armor, along the roadside with a single gunshot wound to the front of his head from a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun. The victim trooper was transported to a nearby hospital and confirmed dead. About four hours after the shooting, the vehicle in question was found abandoned a few miles from the scene. Investigators learned the owner of the abandoned vehicle had obtained a ride to a friend’s property in a nearby town. As a SWAT team surrounded the friend’s property a gunshot was heard coming from a trailer. A female exited the trailer and told the SWAT team the 28-year-old suspect had shot himself. The female also indicated the suspect had said he shot “a cop.” The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital and later died of his self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was a known drug dealer with a prior criminal record, which included drug violations, violent crime, and police assault. The suspect was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

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West Virginia

 

On February 18 at 1:40 a.m., a 41-year-old sergeant with the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) was fatally wounded while waiting in his emergency vehicle to assist with traffic pursuit already in progress. Shortly before 1 a.m., West Virginia State Police investigated a hit-and-run collision. Granville law enforcement officers located the suspect’s vehicle and stopped the driver approximately 20 minutes after the hit-and-run incident. Deputies from the MCSO arrived shortly after the traffic stop and made contact with the driver, who appeared to be intoxicated. When deputies asked him to exit his vehicle, the driver accelerated and fled the scene. Deputies pursued the suspect north from West Virginia into Pennsylvania. The MCSO sergeant, who had 10½ years of law enforcement experience, anticipated the driver might use the interstate to escape and waited in his emergency vehicle at the side of the road. The suspect fled to the interstate and entered southbound back towards West Virginia near where the veteran sergeant was parked. The driver ran his vehicle into the sergeant’s vehicle causing fatal injuries to the sergeant. The victim sergeant was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The 35-year-old suspect was charged with Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, Homicide by Vehicle While Driving Under the Influence, Criminal Homicide, Manslaughter of a Law Enforcement Officer, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement Officers, and Driving Under the Influence. The suspect had a prior criminal record, including violent crime and drug violations.

A corporal and a trooper with the West Virginia State Police, Clay County, were fatally wounded while preparing to transport a DUI suspect around 8 p.m. on August 28. The 42-year-old veteran corporal, who had nearly 17 years of law enforcement experience, was patrolling an interstate in a marked cruiser with the 26-year-old trooper, who had approximately 1½ years’ law enforcement experience. Following a report of a person driving a pickup truck in an erratic manner, the officers spotted the vehicle stopped in a “park and ride” lot just off the interstate. (It was later revealed that the vehicle had been reported stolen earlier in the day, but it had not yet been entered into the National Crime Information Center at the time of the incident.) The driver, who was under the influence of narcotics at the time, was taken into custody. With hands cuffed in front of him, the suspect was placed in the back seat of the cruiser while the corporal and trooper searched his vehicle. When they got back in the cruiser (which was not equipped with a prisoner barrier), the suspect produced a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun he had hidden in his groin area. He shot the victim corporal twice in the rear of the head and the victim trooper in the neck/throat above his body armor. The suspect then unlocked his handcuffs, removed the victim corporal’s .45-caliber handgun, and exited the cruiser. About this time, a tow truck the victims had requested arrived. The suspect shot the tow truck driver in the arm with the victim corporal’s .45-caliber service weapon and fled the scene. The tow truck driver called for assistance and law enforcement officers from the Roane County and Clay County Sheriff’s Departments as well as the Spencer Police Department responded. The tow truck driver, who was later treated for his wound and released, indicated the direction the suspect had fled and the officers began to search for him. As several deputies approached a ditch line, the suspect fired on them from a concealed position. A 43-year-old Roane County deputy, with nearly 4 years of law enforcement experience, was struck in both arms. The victim deputy was also struck in the front upper torso/chest and rear upper torso/back, but his body armor prevented the rounds from penetrating his torso. The officers returned gunfire at the 22-year-old suspect and justifiably killed him. The suspect had a prior criminal record, which included violent crime, drug violations, and police assault. The victim corporal was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident; the victim trooper and the victim deputy were taken to a medical center by helicopter. The victim deputy underwent surgery for the wounds to his arms and survived his injuries. However, the victim trooper died three days later from the wound to his neck/throat.

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