At least five on-duty officers have been slain in an unusually deadly week for U.S. law enforcement.
According to CNN, five officers have been killed in the line of duty in the past week, bringing the total up to around eight since New Year’s Day.
A Colorado sheriff’s deputy died after being shot Monday; two sheriff’s deputies were killed Wednesday in Maryland; a police officer in Georgia is dead after gunfire broke out Thursday while he and other officers were serving a warrant; and a police officer shot Wednesday night in Fargo, North Dakota did not survive, authorities say.
In addition to the slaying of several officers this month, at least one K-9 was reported killed after being stabbed to death in the Pittsburgh metro area.
Before the deaths were officially reported, at least three other U.S. law enforcement officers had died from gunfire in the line of duty this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Last year, only one officer was killed by firearm-related causes at the same rate. At least 42 were fatally shot in 2015 at a rate of less than one per week.
At least 124 officers died in the line of duty last year -roughly two a week- from all causes.
The number of officers recently killed in the line of duty has sent shockwaves throughout the Law Enforcement community. “People are hunting us,” Cass County, ND Sheriff Paul Laney said yesterday during a late-morning news briefing concerning the local shooting of a Fargo officer. “How do you think that sits with us?”
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the total number of 2016 duty deaths to date is ten- with eight of them being gunfire-related. The median age of the officers killed is 38 years old.
Similarly, the number of K-9 duty deaths within the same timeline sits at eight, with 3/4 of the deaths being weapon-related.