The number of law enforcement professionals nationwide who died in the line of duty in 2018 increased over the previous year, reports the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a nonprofit group that tracks officer fatalities. Some 144 Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial officers died in the line of duty, a 12% increase over the 129 officers in 2017.
Firearms-related fatalities claimed the lives of 52 officers. Of these, 14 occurred while attempting to place an individual under arrest. Eight were killed while conducting an investigative activity; and six each while responding to domestic and public disturbance calls. Five officers were ambushed and four were shot conducting traffic stops. Two were killed while serving warrants and two others while handling or transporting prisoners. Two officers inadvertently were shot by other law enforcement personnel. One officer was killed while responding to a burglary; another during a tactical situation; and a third while responding to a call for an armed suicidal suspect.
Handguns were the leading type of firearm used against law enforcement: 31 were shot and killed with a handgun; four were disarmed and shot with their own duty weapons.
Traffic-related fatalities accounted for 50 officer deaths. Of those, 32 died in crashes. Fourteen were struck while outside of their...