The FBI reported Monday that 106 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2018, an increase from 94 officers who died a year earlier.
The annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report stated that 55 of those officers were killed “feloniously,” while the other 51 died accidentally. Of the 55, 23 died while investigating incidents or while involved in enforcement activities such as tactical situations, interacting with wanted persons, examining suspicious activities, traffic stops or handling a person with mental illness.
Eleven officers died as a result of an ambush and four were killed while responding to crimes in progress such as burglaries or reports of a person with a firearm. Offenders used firearms in 51 of the 55 felonious deaths, including 37 by handguns.
Suspects killed 26 officers in the South in 2018, more than twice as much as any other area. Twelve officers died each in the Midwest and West and only four in the Northeast. Forty-nine of the suspects involved in the shootings had prior criminal arrests and 20 were under judicial supervision at the time.
In 2017, 46 law enforcement officers died from injuries incurred in the line of duty during felonious incidents, 21 officers while investigating incidents or involved in enforcement activities.
Motor vehicle deaths were the main cause of accidental deaths with 34 officers dying in crashes. Nine more officers were pedestrians being struck by vehicles. Three officers drowned and two died of firearms-related charges.
The numbers appear to be improving so far this year. FBI statistics show that 14 officers were killed feloniously so far this year, down from the 26 killed in 2018 at this time.
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