FBI San Diego
Special Agent Davene Butler
(858) 320-1800
October 19, 2015

FBI Releases 2014 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 96 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2014. Of these, 51 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 45 officers died in accidents. In addition, 48,315 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults. The 2014 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, released today, includes comprehensive data tables about these incidents, brief narratives describing the fatal attacks, and narratives regarding selected assaults resulting in injury.

Felonious Deaths

The 51 felonious deaths occurred in 24 states and in Puerto Rico. The number of officers killed as a result of criminal acts in 2014 increased by 24 when compared with the number who were feloniously killed in 2013 (27 officers). The five- and 10-year comparisons show a decrease of five felonious deaths compared with the 2010 figure (56 officers) and a decrease of four deaths compared with 2005 data (55 officers).

Officer Profiles: The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed was 39 years. The victim officers had served in law enforcement for an average of 13 years at the time of the fatal incidents. All 51 officers were male. Forty-seven of the officers were white, two were black, and two were Asian/Pacific Islander.

Circumstances: Of the 51 officers feloniously killed, 11 were killed while answering disturbance calls, nine were conducting traffic pursuits/stops, seven were ambushed, seven were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, five were conducting investigative activities (such as surveillances, searches, or interviews), four were killed in arrest situations, four were involved in tactical situations, and three were handling persons with mental illnesses. One officer was killed in an unprovoked attack.

Weapons: Offenders used firearms to kill 46 of the 51 victim officers. Of these 46 officers, 33 were slain with handguns, 10 with rifles, and three with shotguns. Four officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons, and one was killed with personal weapons such as hands, fists, or feet.

Regions: Seventeen of the felonious deaths occurred in the South, 14 in the West, eight in the Midwest, eight in the Northeast, and four in Puerto Rico.

Suspects: Law enforcement agencies identified 59 alleged assailants in connection with the felonious line-of-duty deaths. Fifty of the assailants had prior criminal arrests, and 11 of the offenders were under judicial supervision at the time of the felonious incidents.

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 96 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2014.

Accidental Deaths

Forty-five law enforcement officers were killed accidentally while performing their duties in 2014. The number of accidental line-of-duty deaths decreased by four from the 2013 total (49 officers). The five- and 10-year comparisons show a decrease of 27 accidental deaths compared with the 2010 figure (72 officers) and a decrease of 22 compared with 2005 data (67 officers).

Officer Profiles: The average age of the officers who were accidentally killed was 39 years; the average number of years the victim officers had served in law enforcement was 10. Of the 45 officers accidentally killed, 42 were male, and three were female. Forty-three of the officers were white, and two were Asian/Pacific Islander.

Circumstances: Of the 45 officers accidentally killed, 28 died as a result of automobile accidents, six were struck by vehicles, six officers died in motorcycle accidents, two were accidentally shot, one drowned, and two officers died in other types of duty-related accidents. Seatbelt usage was reported for 25 of the 28 officers killed in automobile accidents. Of these 25 officers, 15 were wearing seatbelts at the times of the accidents.

Regions: Nineteen of the accidental deaths occurred in the South, 13 in the West, 8 in the Northeast, 4 in the Midwest, and one in Puerto Rico.

Assaults

In 2014, of the 48,315 officers assaulted while performing their duties, 28.3 percent were injured. The largest percentage of victim officers (30.8 percent) were assaulted while responding to disturbance calls. Assailants used personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) in 79.9 percent of the incidents, firearms in 4.0 percent of the incidents, and knives or other cutting instruments in 2.0 percent of the incidents. Other types of dangerous weapons were used in 14.1 percent of assaults. Expanded assault details have been included in the 2014 publication. These details include data for assaults during which officers were injured with firearms or knives/other cutting instruments and are located in new tables and selected narratives.

Overview of law enforcement officers killed:

  • In 2014, 51 law enforcement officers died from injuries incurred in the line of duty during felonious incidents.
  • Of the officers feloniously killed, 27 were employed by city police departments, including eight who were members of law enforcement agencies in cities with 250,000 or more inhabitants.
  • Line-of-duty deaths occurred in 24 states and in Puerto Rico.
  • By region, 17 officers were feloniously killed in the South, 14 officers in the West, eight officers in the Midwest, eight officers in the Northeast, and four officers in Puerto Rico.

Victim profile:

  • The average age of the officers who died in 2014 was 39 years old.
  • The slain officers’ average length of law enforcement service was 13 years.
  • Of the officers who died due to felonious incidents in 2014, 51 were male, and none were female.
  • By race, 47 of the victim officers were white, two were black, and two were Asian/Pacific Islander.

Circumstances:

  • 11 officers who died had responded to disturbance calls.
  • Nine officers were fatally injured during traffic pursuits or stops.
  • Seven officers were involved in ambush (entrapment/premeditation) situations.
  • Seven officers died as a result of investigating suspicious persons or circumstances.
  • Five officers were conducting investigative activity (surveillance, search, interview, etc.).
  • Four officers died as a result of arrest situations.
  • Four officers were killed as a result of tactical situations (barricaded offender, hostage taking, high-risk entry, etc.).
  • Three officers were handling persons with mental illnesses.
  • One officer was killed in an unprovoked attack.

Assignments:

  • 31 officers were on assigned vehicle patrol when the felonious incidents occurred.
  • Five of the slain officers were off duty (but acting in an official capacity) at the times of the incidents.
  • 15 officers were assigned to other duties, such as detectives, officers on special assignments, undercover officers, or officers on other types of assignments not listed.
  • 30 on-duty officers who died in 2014 were assisted at the times of the attacks.
  • 16 on-duty officers were alone and unassisted at the times of the attacks.

Weapons:

  • Of the officers killed in 2014, most (46) were killed with firearms. Of these, 33 were killed with handguns6 officers had their weapons stolen.
  • Five officers fired their weapons; seven officers attempted to use their weapons.
  • 13 officers were slain with firearms when they were 0-5 feet from the offenders.

Body armor:

  • In 2014, 39 of the officers feloniously killed were wearing body armor at the time of the incidents.
  • Of these officers, 35 were killed with firearms, having incurred the following wounds:
    • 11 suffered wounds to the front of the head.
    • Nine were wounded in the side of the head.
    • Five were shot in the front upper torso/chest.
    • Four were shot in the rear upper torso/back.
    • Three were shot in the neck/throat.
    • Two were shot in the rear of the head.
  • The location of the fatal wound was not reported for one incident.

Months, days, and times of incidents

  • More officers (nine) died from felonious assaults that occurred in May than in any other month in 2014.
  • More officers (11) were involved in fatal assaults that occurred on Saturdays than on any other day of the week.
  • 20 officers were fatally injured in assaults that happened between 12:01 a.m. and noon.
  • 31 officers were fatally injured in assaults that happened between 12:01 p.m. and midnight.

Profile of alleged known assailants:

In 2014, 59 alleged offenders were identified in connection with the 51 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 180 pounds.
  • 54 of the alleged offenders were male, and five were female.
  • 42 of the alleged offenders were white, 13 were black, two were American Indian/Alaska Native, one was Asian/Pacific Islander, and race was not reported for one offender.
  • 50 of the alleged offenders had prior criminal arrests.
  • 11 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.
  • Two of the alleged offenders were under the influence of alcohol or were intoxicated at the time of the fatal incidents.

Overview of law enforcement officers accidentally killed in the line of duty:

  • In 2014, 45 law enforcement officers died as the result of accidents that occurred in the line of duty.
  • Accidental line-of-duty deaths of law enforcement officers occurred in 22 states and in Puerto Rico.
  • Of the officers accidentally killed, 20 were employed by city police departments, 17 were employed by county agencies, five were employed by state agencies, and two were employed by federal agencies. One officer from Puerto Rico was accidentally killed.
  • By region, 19 officers who were accidentally killed were employed by agencies in the South, 13 by agencies in the West, eight by agencies in the Northeast, four by agencies in the Midwest, and one in Puerto Rico.

Victim profile:

  • The average age of the officers who were accidentally killed in 2014 was 39 years.
  • The average length of law enforcement service for the officers accidentally killed in the line of duty was 10 years.
  • Of the 45 officers who were accidentally killed, 43 were white, and two were Asian/Pacific Islander.
  • 42 of the officers who died in 2014 due to accidental line-of-duty incidents were male; three were female.

Circumstances:

Of the officers who were accidentally killed in the line of duty in 2014:

  • 28 died as a result of automobile accidents.
  • Six were struck by vehicles. Five officers were directing traffic, assisting motorists, etc., and one was executing a traffic stop, roadblock, etc.
  • Six officers died in motorcycle accidents.
  • Two were accidentally shot. One died as a result of crossfire, mistaken for subject, or other firearm mishap, and one incident occurred during a training session.
  • One officer drowned.
  • Two officers died in other types of accidents.

Assignments:

  • 27 of the on-duty officers accidentally killed in 2014 were alone at the time of the incidents.
  • 17 on-duty officers had assistance at the time of their fatal accidents.
  • One officer was off duty, but acting in an official capacity, at the time of the fatal accident.

Months, days, and times of incidents

  • More officers (six in each month) died from accidental line-of-duty incidents that occurred in January, May, October, and December than in any other month in 2014.
  • More officers were fatally injured in accidents on Sundays and Tuesdays in 2014 with nine officers accidentally killed on each day.
  • 25 officers were killed as a result of accidents occurring between 12:01 a.m. and noon.
  • Nine officers were fatally injured in accidents that occurred between 12:01 p.m. and midnight.

In 2014, the FBI collected assault data from 11,151 law enforcement agencies that employed 536,119 officers. These officers provided service to more than 243.7 million persons, or 76.4 percent of the nation’s population.

  • Law enforcement agencies reported that 48,315 officers were assaulted while performing their duties in 2014.
  • The rate of officer assaults in 2014 was 9.0 per 100 sworn officers.

Injuries:

  • Of the 48,315 officers who were assaulted in 2014, 13,654 (28.3 percent) sustained injuries.
  • 30.4 percent of the officers who were attacked with personal weapons (e.g., hands, fists, or feet) suffered injuries.
  • 13.2 percent of the officers who were assaulted with knives or other cutting instruments were injured..
  • 9.4 percent of officers who were attacked with firearms were injured.
  • 23.4 percent of officers who were attacked with other dangerous weapons were injured.

Times of incidents:

  • For the sixteenth consecutive year, the largest percentage of assaults on officers (14.3 percent) happened from 12:01 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • The smallest percentage of assaults on officers (2.8 percent) occurred between 6:01 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Circumstances:

Of all officers who were assaulted in 2014:

  • 30.8 percent were responding to disturbance calls (family quarrels, bar fights, etc.).
  • 15.2 percent were attempting other arrests.
  • 13.0 percent were handling, transporting, or maintaining custody of prisoners.

Clearances:

Law enforcement agencies can clear offenses by arrest or exceptional means (i.e., when they can identify the perpetrator but are unable to make an arrest due to circumstances beyond their control, such as the death or suicide of the subject).

  • In 2014, law enforcement agencies cleared 90.6 percent of the 48,315 reported assaults on law enforcement officers.
  • By type of circumstance, agencies cleared the greatest percentage of assaults (92.4 percent) on officers who were attempting other arrests.
  • Agencies reported that they cleared 91.7 percent of the 14,901 assaults on officers who were responding to disturbance calls.

Assignments:

  • 62.2 percent of the officers who were assaulted were assigned to one-officer vehicle patrols.
  • 17.7 percent of the officers who were assaulted were assigned to two-officer vehicle patrols.
  • 4.4 percent of officers who were assaulted were assigned to detective duties or special assignments.
  • 15.7 percent of officers were assigned to other duties when they were assaulted in the line of duty.

Weapons:

  • In 2014, 79.9 percent of officers who were assaulted in the line of duty were attacked with personal weapons (e.g., hands, fists, or feet).
  • 4.0 percent of the officers were assaulted with firearms.
  • 2.0 percent of the officers were assaulted with knives or other cutting instruments.
  • 14.1 percent of the officers were assaulted with other dangerous weapons.

In 2014, a total of 1,410 federal law enforcement officers were assaulted. Of these officers, 170 were reported injured and none were killed. Extent of injuries (if any) was not reported for 373 of the officers. By department:

  • The U.S. Department of the Interior employed 607 of the officers who were assaulted; 84 of these officers were injured.
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employed 535 of the federal officers who were assaulted, and 39 of these officers were injured. Injuries (if any) were not reported for 373 of the DHS officers who were assaulted.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice employed 257 of the officers who were assaulted, and 46 of these officers were injured.
  • The U.S. Postal Inspection Service employed 7 of the officers who were assaulted in 2014, and 1 of these officers was injured.
  • The U.S. Capitol Police employed 3 officers who were assaulted, and of these, no officers were injured.
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury employed 1 officer who was assaulted but not injured in 2014.

Weapons:

  • 610 federal officers were attacked with personal weapons such as hands, fists, or feet, and 110 of these assaults resulted in injuries to the officers. For 176 of these victims, the extent of the injuries (if any) was not reported.
  • 149 officers were attacked with blunt instruments, resulting in 4 officers being injured. The extent of injuries (if any) was not reported for 130 officers.
  • 102 federal officers were assaulted with vehicles; of these, 12 officers suffered injuries. For 38 of the officers assaulted with vehicles, the extent of their injuries (if any) was not reported.
  • 77 officers were assaulted with firearms, resulting in 10 officers being injured. The extent of the injuries (if any) was not reported for 17 officers assaulted with firearms.
  • 27 officers were assaulted with knives or other cutting instruments, resulting in three officers being injured.
  • 445 officers were assaulted with various other types of weapons, resulting in 31 officers being injured. The extent of injuries (if any) was not reported for 12 officers assaulted with these various other types of weapons.

Type of activity:

  • 431 officers were attacked while conducting investigations or searches.
  • 308 officers were assaulted while attempting arrests or serving summonses.
  • 164 of the federal officers assaulted in 2014 were on patrol or guard duty when they were assaulted.
  • 60 officers were assaulted while maintaining custody of prisoners.
  • 20 officers were assaulted while on court duty.
  • 12 officers were on protection duty at the time of the attacks.
  • Two officers were assigned to office duty when they were assaulted.
  • 40 officers were assigned to other duties when assaulted.

Regional and outlying area breakdowns:

Of the federal law enforcement officers who were assaulted in 2014:

  • 520 officers were in the West.
  • 420 officers were in the South.
  • 390 officers were in the Midwest.
  • 61 officers were in the Northeast.
  • 7 officers were in Puerto Rico.
  • 1 officer was in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Dispositional information

  • 892 alleged assailants were identified in connection with the 1,410 attacks on federal officers.
  • Of the 892 offenders, dispositional information was reported for 501 of the suspects:
    • 347 were found guilty, and 13 were found not guilty or the charges were dismissed.
    • 115 of the offenders were awaiting trial.
    • Nine offenders’ prosecutions were declined.
    • Five offenders’ cases were pending prosecutive opinion.
    • Four offenders were found incompetent to stand trial.
    • Four offenders remained fugitives.
    • Four offenders are deceased.

Five-year totals:

From 2010 through 2014, there were 8,617 federal officers assaulted; nine of these officers were killed.

  • In the last five years, four officers employed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have been killed in the line of duty. Of these officers:
    • Three were employed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. One of these officers was killed in 2010, and two officers were killed in 2013.
    • One with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was killed in 2011.
  • Of the other five officers killed over the last five years:
    • Three were with the U.S. Department of Justice. Two officers employed by the U.S. Marshals Service were killed in 2011, and 1 officer with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was killed in 2013.
    • Two were with the U.S. Department of the Interior. One officer employed by the National Park Service was killed in 2012, and 1 officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs was killed in 2013.

- Full report: Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2014