Police Officer Fatalities by Gunfire See an Increase in 2016

Police Officer Fatalities by Gunfire See an Increase in 2016

This time last year, only one police officer had died by gunfire in the United States in 2015. Just this week, gunfire claimed the lives of at least five on-duty officers.

In a three-day period, three officers were killed in the line of duty and another was gravely injured. A Colorado sheriff’s deputy died after being shot on Feb. 8, two sheriff’s deputies were killed on Feb. 10 in Maryland and another police officer is expected not to survive after being shot the evening of Feb. 10. The last tragedy struck on the morning of Feb. 11, when an officer was killed in Atlanta.

Before this deadly week for law enforcement, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said that at least three other U.S. law enforcement officers had died from gunfire in the line of duty. Adding the two totals together, that would make at least 8 police officer fatalities since January 1.

Only one officer’s shooting death happened during the same period of time last year. Of the 124 officers who died in the line of duty in 2015, 42 of them died as the result of gunfire, a rate of less than one per week.

Below are the details of the three shootings from the three-day period:

Colorado

On Feb. 8, Mesa County sheriff’s Deputy Derek Greer responded to a report of a suspicious person with a gun near the railroad tracks south of the interstate.

When Greer found a man who matched the description, he approached the man and was shot as he tried to detain him.

Authorities said they later arrested a teen that they believed shot Greer, Austin Patrick Holzer, 17, of Grand Junction. Holzer was held initially on charges of attempted second-degree murder and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

Maryland

On Feb. 10, employees of a Panera Bread restaurant called the police to investigate a suspicious person who was sitting at a table but had not ordered anything. When Senior Deputy Patrick Daily sat down next to the man to ask him to, “move along” the man pulled a gun and fatally shot the sheriff.

Officers were called to the scene of the shooting as the gunman fled. Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon saw them man sitting in a vehicle in an apartment complex parking lot. As the deputy moved closer to the gunman, he shot and killed Logsdon. Other officers returned fire and killed the suspect.

Police say the gunman was David Bryant Evans, 67. Evans was wanted on a warrant out of Florida over an alleged assault of a police officer. Authorities believe Evans fired because he thought Daily knew of his warrant and was going to arrest him.

North Dakota

On the evening of Feb. 10, police officers and SWAT responded to a call of domestic disturbance in a Fargo home.

The suspect’s son called the police around 7 p.m. to report a domestic disturbance. He said that his father had fired at his mother and they had escaped from the house.

Officer Jason Moszer was among those outside the house after the SWAT team arrived at the home and the suspect responded to police pleas to surrender with bullets. The man first shot at a squad car and then shot Moszer.

Moszer sustained what is being called, “non-life-sustaining” injuries and was placed on life support to give his family time to say farewell.

The man suspected of shooting Moszser was found dead on the morning of Feb. 11, after the SWAT team barged inside the barricade home.

Atlanta

A Georgia police officer was shot and killed the morning of Feb. 11, after gunfire broke out while he and other officers were attempting to serve a drug warrant.

When officers entered an apartment in Riverdale while serving a “no knock” warrant, one man ran out the back door. While trying to get away, the suspect encountered a police officer and shot him. The suspect continued to run until he was gunned down by a separate officer.

Both the suspect and the officer were taken to the hospital. The officer died and the suspect lived.

The name of the officer has not been released to the public yet. The event is under investigation.

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