Deaths of police officers on duty on the rise in the US
WASHINGTON — More police officers have died in the line of duty this year in the United States than in 2017, according to data released Thursday. The most common cause of death was gunfire, and vehicular accidents claimed nearly as many officers’ lives.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said in a report that 144 federal, state and local officers have died so far in 2018. That figure represents roughly a 12 percent increase from the 129 who died in 2017.
The majority of the officers who died were either shot — 52 this year, up from 46 in 2017 — or fatally injured in car or motorcycle crashes, which accounted for 50 deaths. Other fatalities involved heart attacks, strokes, drownings and cancer and other illnesses among those who responded to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack.
Of the officers who were shot, eight were killed during investigative activity and six were killed while responding to calls of a domestic or public disturbance, according to the report. Two were fatally shot while serving warrants, two died while handling or transporting prisoners and two others were inadvertently shot by other officers.
Craig Floyd, the fund’s chief executive officer, called the increase in deaths disappointing after a decline in 2017.
“Sadly this reminds us that public safety is a dangerous job and can come at a very steep price,” Floyd said in a statement accompanying the report. “We must never take the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers for granted, and we must remember the families of the fallen who are left behind.”
Of the officers who died in traffic-related incidents, 32 were killed in crashes involving another vehicle and 14 were struck while outside their vehicle. An additional four were killed in motorcycle crashes.
The officers who died in 2018 include a sheriff’s deputy in Sacramento County, California, killed in a shootout at an auto parts store; a Greensboro, North Carolina, police officer killed in a car crash while responding to a call for a robbery; and a Greene County, Missouri, sheriff’s deputy who drowned when his car was swept away by rising water.
The states that experienced the highest number of officer fatalities were Texas, California, Florida and New York, with 11 fatalities each.
“The tragic deaths … (are) a stark reminder of the dangers our law enforcement professionals face each and every day while protecting and serving our communities,” said Craig Floyd with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “Too often, their service and sacrifice are taken for granted.”
Newman (California) Police Officer Ronil Singh
Singh, 33, was gunned down while making a traffic stop just before 1 a.m. in a mostly residential part of Newman, a city of 11,000 located about 70 miles east of San Jose. A native of Fiji, Singh had been with the Newman Police Department since 2011.
DeKalb County (Georgia) Police Officer Edgar Isidro Flores
Flores, 24, was shot while conducting a traffic stop in suburban Atlanta. The suspect fled his vehicle, produced a handgun and shot Flores before being shot and killed by responding officers. Flores had been hired by the police department in May 2017.
Deputy US Marshal Chase White
White, 41, was shot and killed in Tucson, Arizona, while serving a Tucson Police felony warrant. The suspect opened fire before barricading himself in his home and eventually surrendering to police. White had joined the service in 2015.
Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez
Jimenez, 28, was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance outside Mercy Hospital in Chicago. As police arrived on the scene the suspect fatally shot his ex-fiancee and then ran into the hospital, exchanging shots with officers and striking Jimenez. The officer had served with the Chicago Police Department for 18 months.
Ventura County (California) Sheriff’s Deputy Ron Helus
Sheriff’s deputy Helus, who was set to retire, was among about a dozen people killed when a gunman opened fire at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. Helus was shot multiple times as he entered the bar with a California Highway Patrol officer.
Florence County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Deputy Farrah B. Turner
Deputy Turner succumbed to injuries she received on October 3. She was among seven officers shot while serving a warrant at a residence. Sgt. Terrence Carraway (listed below) died earlier.
Gwinnett County (Georgia) Police Officer Antwan Toney
Officer Antwan Toney, who had just turned 30, was responding with another officer to a call of possible marijuana use. Toney was shot at from inside the suspect vehicle as soon as he approached the car in a parking lot at a middle school. He was hit one time. The other officer, returned fire and dragged Toney away, and he died at a hospital.
North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Kevin K. Conner
Trooper Conner pulled over a driver of a pickup truck for speeding a few miles from the South Carolina state line. The driver fired several shots, hitting the trooper, who died after being transported to a hospital.
Florence (South Carolina) Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway
Sgt. Carraway was heading home for the day when he received a call for urgent backup. Law enforcement officers were taking fire from a man inside a house. He was shot and killed during a two-hour standoff when deputies tried to execute a search warrant. Six other law enforcement officers and a 20-year-old who was in the home also were shot.
Brookhaven (Mississippi) Police Corporal Zach Moak and Patrolman James White
Moak, 31, and White, 35, were responding to a call about shots fired when they were killed in a shootout in Brookhaven, Mississippi.
Sacramento County (California) Deputy Sheriff Mark Stasyuk
Stasyuk was gunned down by a man as he and another deputy responded to a disturbance call at an auto parts store.
Sedgwick County (Kansas) Deputy Sheriff Robert Kunze
Kunze was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious person call. A struggle ensued when he tried to attemp the suspect and Kunze was shot.
Fort Worth (Texas) Police Officer Garrett Hull
Officer Hull was fatally shot while he was pursuing three robbery suspects. At the funeral, the police chief promoted Hull posthumously to corporal.
Fort Myers (Florida) Police Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller
Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller succumbed to a gunshot wound he received a week earlier. He was shot by a man who allegedly stole a cellphone and then ran from police.
Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Michalski
The 17-year veteran was killed while he and other officers were trying to arrest a suspect, who was wanted on drug and gun charges, police said. When officers entered the home, the suspect fired multiple times at officers, the police chief said.
Arizona State Trooper Tyler Edenhofer
A person who was fighting with police along Interstate 10 near Phoenix took an officer’s gun and shot two Arizona state troopers. Trooper Tyler Edenhofer — an officer who was in training — was killed.
Hawaii County (Hawaii) Police Officer Bronson K. Kaliloa
Officer Kaliloa was fatally shot during a traffic stop of a wanted man, who opened fire. He was the first fatality from the state of Hawaii this year.
Weymouth (Massachusetts) Police Officer Michael Chesna
Chesna approached a suspect vandalizing a home, after the suspect crashed a vehicle and ran. When approached, he struck Chesna in the head with a rock, then stole Officer Chesna’s gun and fired, officials said. A stray bullet also struck and killed a woman in a nearby home.
New York State Police Trooper Nicholas Clark
Clark was fatally shot by a suspect considered to be suicidal after responding to a call in Erwin, New York.
Wyandotte County (Kansas) Deputy Sheriffs Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King
Rohrer and King were shot and killed during a transfer of an inmate to the courthouse for a hearing.
Dickinson County (Tennessee) Sergeant Daniel Baker
Baker was shot and killed during an altercation surrounding a stolen vehicle. Suspect Steven Wiggins was arrested after a two-day manhunt.
Highlands County (Florida) Deputy Sheriff William J. Gentry, Jr.
Gentry was dispatched to a home regarding an animal abuse case when he was confronted by the suspect, who lived next door. The suspect then opened fire.
Terra Haute (Indiana) Police Officer Rob Pitts
Pitts, a veteran of Terre Haute police department, was shot and killed as he responded to a call at an apartment complex on May 4.
Nogales (Arizona) Police Officer Jesus Cordova
Cordova was killed after trying to pull over a carjacking suspect. The suspect got out of the car and opened fire. It was the first time since 1888 a Nogales Police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty.
Somerset County (Maine) police Cpl. Eugene Cole
Cole was shot and killed by a man who then drove off in his squad car. Cole, 62, was a father and an “outstanding” officer, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said.
Dallas Police Officer Rogelio Santander
Santander died a day after after he and a colleague were shot at a Home Depot. The suspected gunman was captured after a car chase. Santander, 27, was a three-year police veteran.
Gilchrist County (Florida) Sheriff’s Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey
Ramirez and Lindsey were killed when a man walked up to the window of the restaurant where they were eating and shot them without warning. The shooter was later found dead outside the business.
Yarmouth (Massachusetts) Police Officer Sean Gannon
Gannon was serving a warrant when he was shot and killed. He was a wonderful young man and “I’m going to miss him terribly,” Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Fredrickson said.
Pikeville (Kentucky) Police Officer Scotty Hamilton
Hamilton was shot and killed while on duty. Hamilton had been a member of the Pikeville Police Department since 2006.
Pomona (California) Police Officer Greggory Casillas
Rookie officer Greggory Casillas was shot to death while trying to arrest a man in Pomona. He was killed after a reported police chase ended with a suspect barricaded inside an apartment home. Another officer was also shot.
Clinton (Missouri) Police Officer Christopher Ryan Morton
Morton was shot and killed as he responded with other officers to a domestic disturbance call in Clinton. Two other officers also were shot. A 911 call was mistakenly traced to the wrong location, where officers were met with gunfire, a Missouri Highway Patrol official said.
Boone County (Indiana) Deputy Sheriff Jacob Pickett
Pickett was shot and killed as he and other deputies were assisting Lebanon police officers in a pursuit.
Mobile (Alabama) Police Officer Justin Billa
Billa was killed as he and others responded to a call of a woman found dead in a residential area. Billa was fatally shot as he tried to speak with the ex-husband of the victim. The man then killed himself.
Chicago (Illinois) Police Commander Paul Bauer
Bauer, 53, was killed February 13 while responding to a call in downtown Chicago. He went after a suspect who had an altercation with other officers and escaped. Bauer, a 31-year veteran, encountered that individual and was shot several times.
Westerville (Ohio) Police Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli
The two were fatally shot February 10 as they responded to a 911 hangup call involving potential domestic abuse. Joering, 39, and Morelli, 54, were shot as they entered an apartment in Westerville, north of Columbus.
Locust Grove (Georgia) Police Officer Chase Maddox
Maddox, 26, was killed when he tried to assist two Henry County Sheriff’s deputies in arresting a man wanted on a warrant for failure to appear in court. The shooting occurred in Locust Grove, a small town about 35 miles south of Atlanta. The suspect was killed.
Richardson (Texas) Police Officer David Sherrard
Sherrard, 37, was shot and killed when he responded with other officers to a shots fired call at an apartment complex in Richardson. When officers entered an apartment, a man began firing on the officers.
El Paso County (Colorado) Sheriff’s Deputy Micah Flick
Flick was marking his 11th anniversary as a sheriff’s deputy with El Paso County when he and some colleagues were looking into a report of a vehicle theft on February 5. Flick, 34, was shot and killed — and three other law enforcement officers were shot and injured — during a struggle with a suspect in Colorado Springs. The suspect died, police said.
Adams County (Colorado) Sheriff’s Deputy Heath Gumm
Gumm and other deputies were chasing a man while investigating a report of an assault in Thornton, a city near Denver. When the deputies followed the man behind a home, the man pulled out a handgun and fired, hitting Gumm in the chest.
Detroit (Michigan) Police Officer Glenn Doss Jr.
Doss, 25, was shot in the head as he got out of his patrol car to respond to a domestic violence call. He died four days later.
Deputy US Marshal Christopher Hill in Pennsylvania
Hill, 45, was shot and killed in Harrisburg during an attempt to serve an arrest warrant. As officers tried to apprehend a woman who was wanted for making terroristic threats, a man inside opened fire. Hill and two other officers were struck. One of the officers shot and killed the shooter.
York County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Detective Michael Doty
Doty, 37, died of gunshot wounds he received a day earlier during the search for a man who shot a York County Sheriff’s canine handler. The handler was ambushed by the man, who was accused of attacking his wife. A SWAT team that included Doty responded to the incident, and the suspect shot the detective.
Pierce County (Washington) Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel A. McCartney
McCartney, 34, was shot and killed as he chased two burglary suspects after responding to a home invasion call in Frederickson. One of the suspects was found dead at the scene, and the other was apprehended later.