Selected Summaries of Officers Assaulted and Injured with Firearms or Knives/Other Cutting Instruments
Note: In 2013, the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Program received reports of 78 officers who were injured as a result of assaults with firearms or knives/other cutting instruments. For the first time in its history, the annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted publication includes summaries of selected incidents in which officers survived injuries from such assaults.
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An officer with the Miami-Dade Police Department survived injuries sustained on October 29 while investigating a suspicious person who appeared to be starting a fire at a gas station. At approximately 7:16 p.m., the veteran officer, who had 21 years of law enforcement experience, observed a man trying to pour gasoline onto an unopened underground gasoline valve access port. The officer pushed the emergency button to shut off the pumps and deployed an electronic control device, striking the subject once. The subject produced a knife and stabbed the officer repeatedly. After struggling on the ground, the subject lost control of the knife but produced a screwdriver and continued to stab the officer. During the attack, the officer removed his service weapon from its holster and fired the weapon, striking and killing the offender. Despite multiple injuries to his front upper torso/chest, arms/hands, and a deep puncture wound to the right thigh, the officer was able to get out from under the subject and call for backup. Additional officers arrived on the scene to assist the victim officer. After the 51-year-old offender was identified, it was determined he had a prior criminal record that included the violent crimes of murder and police assault, as well as drug violations, and weapons violations. The victim officer was taken to the hospital where he underwent surgery. The officer eventually was able to return to duty.
A trooper with the Michigan State Police (MSP), Oak Park Post, survived an assault with a firearm around 3:20 a.m. on February 11 while responding to a robbery in progress in Detroit. Throughout the night, two individuals allegedly had been posing as police officers and had committed a string of armed robberies and carjackings. They had also allegedly shot some of their victims. Recent radio communication conveyed that two troopers had spotted a vehicle matching the description of one of the carjacked vehicles, and the occupants matched the descriptions of the armed suspects. Upon seeing the troopers, the suspects abruptly pulled over and fled on foot. In response, at least 13 MSP troopers, an MSP K-9, and several Detroit Police Department (DPD) officers established a three-block perimeter in the neighborhood. MSP and DPD units coordinated efforts to restrict traffic, canvas streets in pairs, and clear vacant buildings in groups of four. After the K-9 lost the track in a vacant lot, an abandoned house nearby was determined to be a likely hideaway. Four troopers and the K-9 entered the structure and cleared the ground floor. However, when they began to clear the second level, two of the troopers came under fire. One of the troopers, a 13-year veteran of law enforcement who was wearing body armor, saw a flash from a bedroom facing the stairwell and then realized that he had been hit in the lower left leg. Both the 37-year-old victim trooper and his partner returned fire, took cover, and then established verbal contact with each other. The second trooper yelled for the subject to show his hands and drop his weapon, a .38-caliber revolver, but the subject did not comply. Upon hearing the exchange of gunfire and radio communications, MSP troopers and DPD officers who were at area perimeter points tightened the perimeter to the outside of the residence. One trooper with an M-4 rifle and two DPD officers entered and provided cover at the top of the stairwell for the wounded trooper and his partner. However, as the injured trooper and his partner moved toward the stairwell, a shot came from the bedroom where the subject was hiding. The troopers and officers returned fire, but the wounded trooper and his partner were forced to retreat back to the room. Covering officers continued to announce their presence and demand that the subject surrender. Meanwhile, officers outside observed a second subject climb out of an upstairs window and jump from a lower roof onto the ground; MSP troopers and DPD officers immediately took him into custody. Inside, law enforcement heard a weak voice come from the bedroom where the subject was hiding. When troopers again demanded his surrender, two gloved hands appeared, but the subject’s full body was not visible. The trooper and officers on the stairs entered the room under the cover of the trooper with the M-4 rifle and, after a brief struggle, secured the subject. Led by his partner, the victim trooper limped down the stairs, and then was carried by his partner to an emergency medical services unit that transported him to a local hospital. At the abandoned house, the 38-year-old subject from the upstairs and the 36-year-old subject who had been apprehended outside, both of whom had prior convictions for violent crime and weapons violations, were arrested and charged with Armed Robbery, Carjacking, Assault with Intent to Murder, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Weapon Felony Firearm. Additional charges for the 38-year-old were Weapon Felony Firearm; those for the 36-year-old were Conspiracy to Resist Arrest, Resisting and Obstructing (R & O) Causing Severe Impairment, R & O Causing Injury, eight counts of R & O, and Second-Degree Felony Firearm. The wounded trooper has since recovered from his injuries and returned to his duties.
On August 5 at 11:40 p.m., a patrol officer with the Conway Police Department was injured while handling a person with a mental illness. The 27-year-old officer, who had more than 1 year of law enforcement experience, responded to a residence after dispatchers received a 911 hang-up call. The dispatcher advised that the caller stated he did not trust himself, and then the call was disconnected. Upon arriving at the residence, the man who answered the door informed the officer that he had not called 911 but his adult son may have called. The subject’s mother told the officer her son was outside and very intoxicated. She led the officer into the house, downstairs into the basement, and out to the backyard. The officer observed the subject sitting in a chair crying with his head between his legs. While the officer was questioning him about the 911 call, the man sat up, took a knife from his sweatshirt pocket, and stated, “I cannot take this anymore.” The officer ordered the subject to put the knife down and called for dispatchers to have another unit respond to the location. After the officer again gave orders for the subject to drop the knife, the subject, using his right hand, put the knife to his own throat and began to draw it across his neck. The subject’s mother started to walk toward the subject to stop him, but he ordered her to stay away. The officer, who was wearing body armor, grabbed the man’s right hand and took him to the ground. Once on the ground, the officer gave a final order for the subject to drop the knife, and the subject responded, “I hope you have had some good training if you’re going to get this away from me.” The officer then used chemical spray on the man in an attempt to disarm him; however, the spray seemed to have no effect. While the officer was on top of the subject, the man’s father attempted to assist the officer in removing the knife from his son’s hand. The officer was able to pry the knife away from the subject and throw it off to the side. The officer then secured the suspect in handcuffs, placing his hands behind his back and double locking the cuffs. The officer sustained minor cuts on his left hand during the struggle. While waiting for backup, the subject’s mother told the officer that her son had remarked earlier that he wanted the police to come so they could end it all. After additional officers arrived, medical personnel evaluated the 30-year-old subject. The subject was transported to the police department where officers completed a suicide evaluation and charged the subject with Resisting Arrest or Detention and Second-Degree Assault. After the booking process, the victim officer went to the hospital and was treated for the cuts on his hands and returned to duty. The subject was known to use drugs, had a prior criminal record that included drug convictions, and he was under conditional release at the time of the incident. In an interview the next day, the man stated he was depressed and had been drinking alcohol that night after fighting with his girlfriend. He told the officer he wanted to kill himself and tried to cut his throat using a knife but was unsuccessful. When he called 911 and the officer arrived, the subject reported he had no intention of cutting the officer, but he wanted the officer to shoot him.
At 8:42 a.m. on August 15, two detectives with the Trenton Police Department were injured by gunfire while investigating a domestic violence incident. A 46-year-old detective from the Special Victims Unit (SVU) and a 53-year-old detective from the Homicide Unit (HU), both veteran detectives with over 19 years and over 32 years of law enforcement experience, respectively, were escorting a domestic violence victim back to her residence. They planned to meet a third detective, from the Crime Scene Unit (CSU), at the residence. Upon arrival, the detectives parked their unmarked police vehicle opposite the victim’s residence. Several hours earlier, the suspect had attacked the victim, destroyed some of her belongings, and fatally stabbed her dog. He also called the victim after the initial incident and threatened her. When the third detective reached the scene, the detectives and the victim approached the front of the residence where the victim pointed out evidence in some trash cans. The detectives stopped to examine the evidence when the suspect emerged from within the residence. The victim identified the suspect and said, “He is right there. Arrest him.” Before the detectives could react, the suspect opened fire with a .38-caliber revolver. The HU and SVU detectives were struck. The HU detective was hit in the front lower torso/abdomen and rear lower torso/back and the SVU detective was hit in the front lower torso/abdomen and in his arms/hands. The SVU detective was knocked to the ground; while on the street, he observed that the suspect had exited the porch of the residence and was headed directly toward him, continuing to fire. The wounded SVU detective drew his service weapon and fired at the suspect, striking him. The suspect fell to the ground, sat back up, and again raised his revolver in the direction of the detective. The SVU detective again fired at the suspect, striking him a second time. The suspect fell to the ground again, and this time dropped his weapon. During the exchange of gunfire, the wounded HU detective made his way back to his vehicle and radioed for backup and medical assistance. The wounded SVU detective, with assistance from the CSU detective, subdued and handcuffed the suspect. At 9:02 a.m., the 23-year-old suspect, who was known to use and possess drugs and had prior arrests for violent crime, weapons violations, and drug violations, was pronounced dead at the scene. The SVU detective has since recovered from his injuries and returned to duty. At the time this incident was reported to the FBI, the HU detective had not returned to duty.
A 37-year-old patrol officer with the Northampton Township Police Department is back to duty after surviving a shooting incident during an investigative activity shortly after 6 p.m. on April 18 in Holland. The officer, a 14-year veteran of law enforcement, responded to a call of shots fired. The dispatcher indicated that the suspect had left the scene and provided a description of the suspect’s vehicle. Another officer relayed the likely identity of the suspect, a man already known to law enforcement. Once in the area, the officer saw the suspect’s vehicle headed north near a local shopping center, and he advised other units of its location. Suddenly, the suspect’s vehicle stopped, and the driver exited with a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun. He fired three rounds at the officer who was seated in his patrol vehicle. The officer, who was wearing body armor, was hit in the arms/hands and the front upper torso/chest. Still in his patrol vehicle, he reported shots fired, and returned fire. As he exited his vehicle to take cover behind it, the officer continued to return fire. The suspect returned to the front seat of his vehicle, and apparently attempted to reload his weapon. The officer continued to return fire from behind his patrol vehicle. When the suspect no longer fired back, the officer believed he had struck the suspect; however, he maintained cover behind his patrol vehicle. Responding officers set up a perimeter and cleared the shopping center. Officers approached the suspect vehicle, where they found the 50-year-old suspect fatally wounded, slumped over the steering wheel. The officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment. An investigation of the initial shooting that prompted the shots fired call revealed the suspect had shot and killed his estranged wife at that location. The suspect had a criminal record that included violent crime. He was on conditional release at the time of the incident.
A deputy sheriff with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department survived being shot while responding to a disturbance call at 1:30 p.m. on February 26 in Columbia. The 45-year-old veteran deputy, who had more than 8 years of law enforcement experience, was patrolling in her marked vehicle when a woman with blood on her face flagged her down. The deputy pulled her vehicle into a nearby drugstore parking lot and then exited to speak with the woman. The woman reported she had been assaulted and described the male attacker. The deputy radioed for an ambulance and informed dispatchers of the situation. The deputy returned to her patrol vehicle and began searching for the suspect around a nearby gas station. While driving, the deputy noticed a suspicious-looking man standing between two parked buses. As the deputy stopped her vehicle, the subject, who fit the description of the assailant, came out from between the two buses and began to run toward the deputy. The deputy, who was approximately 6 feet from the subject, attempted to use an electronic control device on him, but the device malfunctioned. The subject began to run away and the deputy radioed that she was in a foot pursuit, and responding officers joined in the chase. At one point, the subject turned and fired a handgun at one of the pursuing officers, who responded by firing two rounds. Fearing for the other officer’s safety, the deputy fired three rounds from her service weapon, but the subject continued to flee. The pursuit led to an apartment complex where officers set up a perimeter. A K-9 was called in to track the subject. As the K-9 was tracking, a woman came around a corner of the complex and told officers the person they were looking for was in her apartment. The deputy radioed the information to dispatchers, and additional officers arrived at the scene. The subject then fled the apartment through the back door. As he was running, the subject began blindly shooting at the deputy with his right arm extended backward. The deputy immediately felt pain in her front upper torso/chest beneath her body armor. The victim deputy was able to fire 12 rounds at the suspect, killing him. The deputy checked herself for injuries and found a bruise underneath her body armor. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment. She was released and has since returned to duty. The 24-year-old offender had a criminal history including violent crime, drug violations, and weapons violations.
On September 19, at 10:32 p.m., a patrol officer and a corporal with the Selma Police Department survived injuries sustained while responding to a disturbance call. Dispatchers had received two calls indicating that a man was dragging a screaming woman into a residence. The 28-year-old patrol officer, who had just over 1 year of law enforcement experience, and the 47-year-old veteran corporal, who had nearly 14 years of law enforcement experience, both responded in separate patrol units to the address. The patrol officer was the first one on scene and talked to a woman who was the owner of the residence. The woman and her husband had just arrived at the residence moments before and did not have any knowledge of the disturbance. She invited the patrol officer inside where he encountered the homeowners’ son and his wife. The wife was sitting in the living room on the sofa and appeared to be injured and in pain. The homeowner took her young grandchildren upstairs. Moments later, the corporal arrived and joined the patrol officer in the living room. The male subject began shouting at the officers to leave, and his wife began asking the officers to help her. When the patrol officer moved toward her to provide assistance, the male subject fired four rounds at the officers from a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun. The patrol officer, who was wearing body armor, was shot at close range one time and sustained injuries to the front and the side of her head. The corporal, who was also wearing body armor, was shot in the front below his waist. The corporal was able to return fire, striking the male subject twice. Other officers responded to the residence and took the suspect into custody. The 33-year-old suspect was charged with two counts of Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer and Aggravated Assault on Family. He had a prior criminal record which included violent crime and police assault charges. The patrol officer and the corporal were hospitalized for their injuries, and at the time this incident was reported to the FBI, neither had returned to duty.
Both a deputy sheriff and a sergeant with the Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department (NCSD) survived wounds sustained while responding to a disturbance call in Beaver and participating in the tactical situation to address the subsequent standoff at the residence. At approximately 9:21 a.m. on July 6, two NCSD deputies responded to a caller who reported that a man who was on the porch of a neighboring residence was armed with a shotgun and had threatened the caller’s husband. When the deputies arrived at the scene and exited their patrol vehicles, they found the subject still sitting on his porch with a shotgun. The deputy used his public address system to direct the subject to put away the gun. The subject instead retreated into the house. The second deputy went to the rear of the patrol vehicle to get a shotgun as the first deputy drew his service weapon. The subject came back outside and the deputy ordered him to hold up his hands and step off the porch. The subject held up his hands and shook his head, before retreating into the house a second time. The deputy was seeking cover near a garage, when the subject fired from inside the residence. The deputy, who was wearing body armor, was hit in the left leg, but managed to take cover at a neighboring residence. The victim deputy advised his partner that he had been hit, and his partner radioed for help as he continued to cover the residence and give commands for the offender to surrender. More officers and emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene. The victim deputy, who survived his wounds and has since returned to duty, was taken to the hospital. The additional officers surrounded the house, and a 3½-hour standoff with the barricaded offender began. The sheriff continued to use a loud speaker to communicate and had a member of the man’s family try to contact him, but the offender did not respond. The man continued to shoot at officers from the back of the residence. He moved to the front of the residence and fired a shotgun at an NCSD sergeant, wounding him in the front of his head (face) and shoulder. The offender shot again at the sergeant, hitting his body armor in the front upper torso/chest area. The sergeant was transported to the hospital, was treated, and survived his wounds. The offender continued to periodically fire towards the officers, and tear gas was introduced into the residence. After an hour with no shooting or movement, the West Virginia State Police used a robot to break a window in an attempt to check the status of the offender. The offender began to shoot again from the front of the residence. Soon after, more tear gas and pepper gas were introduced into the residence. The subject finally exited through the back door. The 84-year-old offender was carrying a shotgun and did not respond to verbal commands to put the weapon down. Instead, he pointed the shotgun at the officers, who justifiably killed him.
A 28-year-old officer with the Oshkosh Police Department returned to duty after being injured with a cutting instrument while conducting an investigative activity. The incident began at 4:15 p.m. on October 9 when the officer, a veteran with more than 5 years of law enforcement experience, was interviewing a suspect who had successfully eluded the officer during a traffic stop 4 days earlier. The suspect was also on probation, and a warrant had been issued for his arrest due to a probation violation. The officer, along with his partner, had been searching for the suspect at several locations and finally found him at his mother’s residence. A man answered the door in his underwear and the officers identified him as the suspect they were seeking. The officers asked to speak with him, and the suspect allowed the officers to come inside while he finished dressing. The three men then went back outside, and the suspect sat on the porch steps while officers questioned him about the incidents that had occurred days earlier. After a discussion, the suspect eventually admitted to taking a car without the owner’s consent, eluding police, and later hitting a telephone pole. He told officers he fled from police because he didn’t have a driver’s license, was currently on probation, and had been drinking alcohol. At that point, the suspect asked police if he could go inside the residence to get a drink. The victim officer later stated because of the suspect’s cooperativeness, the officers agreed and followed the suspect inside where he got a glass of water. The three men again returned to the porch area, and the suspect sat on the porch steps. The suspect talked to the officers for another 10-15 minutes about the previous incidents. The suspect requested more water, and the officers refused the request. The officers told the suspect that he was under arrest. Both officers reached for the man to handcuff him. The officer’s partner ordered the man to put his hands behind his back. The officer grabbed the suspect by his wrist/forearm, and immediately the man began to pull away. The suspect jumped off the steps, onto the ground, and struck the officer in the right side of his face with the drinking glass, shattering it and cutting the victim officer’s face and neck; then he attempted to run away. Both officers regained hold of the suspect, and the victim officer radioed dispatch for assistance as a violent struggle ensued that brought all three men to the ground. The officers were ordering the suspect to stop resisting when the suspect began to grab the victim officer’s duty belt in an apparent attempt to take the officer’s service weapon. The officer covered his weapon with both of his hands to prevent the suspect from taking it while alerting his partner of the suspect’s actions. The victim officer shouted for his partner to use the electronic control device (ECD) to subdue the suspect. While the officer’s partner was restraining the suspect, the victim officer managed to remove his ECD from his duty belt and deploy it into the suspect’s side on his bare skin. The suspect continued to fight the officers and attempted to dislodge the ECD’s wires. The victim officer repositioned the ECD onto the suspect’s calf and administered a stun, but it had no effect. The officer discarded the ECD and positioned himself on top of the suspect, who was lying face down on the ground. To create a distraction and attempt to stop the man from resisting, the officer struck the suspect in the face and used his forearm on the back of the suspect’s neck to pin him down. More officers arrived at the scene and assisted in getting the suspect handcuffed while the victim officer attended to his wounds. The suspect continued to resist after he was handcuffed and unsuccessfully attempted to bite the partner officer’s hand. The victim officer sustained significant wounds to the side of his head, neck/throat, and arms/hands from the drinking glass. An ambulance was requested, and the officer was transported to the hospital where he received 13 facial stitches. Medical personnel attended to the 19-year-old suspect at the scene for a bloody nose. He was taken to the hospital and cleared for admission to jail. The suspect, a known drug user and possessor who was on probation at the time of the incident, had prior violent crime and drug-related charges. The suspect was charged with Battery to a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting Arrest–Felony, Attempting to Disarm a Law Enforcement Officer, First-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Knowingly Fleeing a Law Enforcement Officer, Operating a Motor Vehicle without Owner’s Consent, and Substantial Battery.
A 33-year-old deputy sheriff with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department (TCSD) survived a shooting that occurred at 5:30 p.m. while he was conducting an investigative activity on September 8. The deputy, a veteran of law enforcement with more than 9 years of experience, arrived at the residence of a woman in Westboro to investigate a restraining order violation. In spite of an active restraining order against her former boyfriend, the woman reported she had received multiple calls and text messages from him. After confirming the calls and messages were from the former boyfriend, the deputy drove to the subject’s address and parked his patrol vehicle on the street about 50 feet from the back of the residence. The deputy contacted the subject through the closed and locked front door and informed the subject of the complaint against him. The subject acknowledged the violation and asked if he was going to be arrested. The deputy affirmed that he was and requested several times that the man exit the residence. Each time the subject refused to come out. The conversation continued for approximately 10 minutes, and the subject became more agitated as time passed. The subject told the deputy that the deputy would need to obtain a warrant in order to take him into custody. He then stated he was going to commit suicide and retreated into the back portion of the residence. The deputy attempted to use his portable radio to request assistance, but was unable to make contact with dispatch. The deputy was still standing at the front door when he saw movement inside. The suspect fired one round from a .22-caliber lever-action rifle through the glass in the front door. The round grazed the left side of the deputy’s face, injuring the side of his head. The deputy ran to a nearby outbuilding and residence and took cover. Again, the deputy tried to contact dispatchers but was unsuccessful. Around that time, dispatch requested backup to respond to the location because they could not make contact with the deputy. The deputy could hear the radio traffic and was aware that additional officers were en route to the location, but he was unable to transmit the circumstances. All attempts to contact dispatchers were unsuccessful, so the deputy ran to his patrol vehicle and attempted to get inside. The suspect fired four or five more rounds at the deputy from an open window of his residence. Several of the rounds shattered the windows of the patrol vehicle and one round struck the deputy below his body armor in the front lower torso/stomach. The deputy drove his patrol vehicle approximately a half mile away, where he was able to radio dispatch and warn responding officers about the situation. When medical personnel arrived, the deputy was treated for his injuries and eventually air lifted by helicopter to a nearby hospital. During this time, the suspect fled his residence on foot, retrieved a firearm that he had hidden inside the wall of a dilapidated neighboring residence, and returned to his primary residence. Officers with the TCSD and several other area agencies responded to the scene. At approximately 8:30 p.m., a TCSD detective made telephone contact with the suspect and attempted to negotiate his surrender. The suspect ended the telephone contact several times within the next half an hour and reported he was going to shoot himself. Shortly after 9 p.m., the 27-year-old suspect complied with negotiators, exited his residence unarmed, and was taken into custody. The suspect, who was on probation, had a prior criminal record and convictions including violent crime and drug violations. He was a known drug user and under the influence of narcotics at the time of the incident. The suspect was charged with First Degree Attempted Homicide, Possession of a Firearm—Contrary to Injunction, Possession of a Short-Barreled Shotgun, and Bail Jumping—Felony. The victim officer was later able to return to duty.