Home LEOKA 2015 Detailed Assault Data Summaries of Officers Assaulted

Summaries of Officers Assaulted

Download Printable Document

Note: In 2015, the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Program received reports of 85 officers who were injured as a result of assaults with firearms or knives/other cutting instruments. The following are summaries of selected incidents in which officers survived injuries from such assaults.

AZCAGAMINVNM | PATN | TX | VA | WV

Arizona

A police officer with the Phoenix Police Department was attacked when he responded to a domestic disturbance call at 7:33 a.m. on March 11. The 47-year-old veteran officer, who had more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, responded to a call of a man and woman arguing in public. The officer tried to initiate contact with the pair; however, both subjects ignored him. As the officer turned to check on traffic, the male subject rushed at the officer. The suspect stabbed the officer in the front upper torso/chest with a knife that had a 12-inch blade, piercing the officer’s body armor and causing a puncture wound of more than an inch. The suspect then ran back to the woman, who was his pregnant girlfriend, and began to stab her. The officer fired one round at the suspect from his .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, but missed. The suspect released the woman, and she fled. The officer still had the suspect at gunpoint and gave the man verbal commands to drop his weapon and get on the ground. The suspect threw the knife into the street but refused to get on the ground. The suspect charged the officer again, and the officer fired another round that struck the suspect in the chest. The suspect still refused to get on the ground and began to walk around erratically. As additional officers arrived, the suspect continued to disobey verbal commands. The officers eventually subdued the suspect with a conductive energy device and took him into custody. The 33-year-old suspect was charged (due to a prior incident and this incident) with First-Degree Murder During a Crime, two counts of First-Degree Premeditated Murder, First-Degree Burglary, and Kidnapping (Ransom/Hostage). He had a prior criminal record including police assault, a violent crime, and a drug law violation. The victim officer has since recovered from his injury and returned to duty.

*****

On April 18 at 4 p.m., a police officer with the Phoenix Police Department was shot while handling a person with a mental illness. The 34-year-old officer, a veteran of law enforcement with more than 7 years’ experience, was one of the officers who responded to a city park. Dispatchers had received a call from a person at the park who said he was sitting in a van and that men were pointing guns at him from bushes and houses in the area. Officers who arrived in the area made contact with the subject who appeared to be paranoid and delusional. The subject was in the driver’s seat and told the officers that he believed various people (including the police) were out to kill him, so he locked the doors and refused to exit. Officers used their equipment to conduct a search and electronically located an existing mental health order on the subject. They planned to remove the man from the vehicle and take him to a local mental health facility. One officer shot pepper spray through an opening in one of the vehicle’s windows while another officer, who was wearing body armor, broke out the passenger window. The subject pulled a semiautomatic handgun from behind his back and fired at the officer who had broken the window’s glass, striking the officer in his front upper torso/chest. The officer also suffered an eye injury (front head). Another officer fired at the subject, justifiably killing him. The subject was later discovered to have a history of a mental illness and a prior criminal record. The victim officer had not returned to duty at the time this incident was reported to the FBI.

Back to Top

California

Around 8:30 p.m. on August 1, two senior deputies with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) sustained gunshot wounds while responding to a tactical situation. Prior to the senior deputies’ encounter, a suspect allegedly held three individuals at gunpoint in a cabin and threatened to kill them. When the individuals escaped, the suspect stole an ATV/UTV and drove to a cabin in another area. There, he allegedly used a shotgun to murder a man, stole two handguns and an SUV vehicle, then fled the scene and traveled northeast before the vehicle he was driving became disabled. KCSO SWAT officers tracked the suspect to a property where he fired a revolver at deputies. The 40-year-old senior deputy, who had nearly 14 years of law enforcement experience, suffered wounds to his arms/hands. He was transported to a hospital for treatment. The 41-year-old senior deputy, who had nearly 18 years of law enforcement experience, sustained shrapnel injuries to the side of his head (right ear). Both of the veteran deputies were wearing body armor. KCSO SWAT officers returned fire, but the suspect escaped into the wilderness. An intensive manhunt ensued. Two weeks later, the suspect was located and justifiably killed when he pulled a firearm on officers. The 34-year-old suspect had a prior criminal record that included police assault and a violent crime. At the time this incident was reported to the FBI, the 41-year-old senior deputy had returned to duty, but the 40-year-old senior deputy had not returned to duty.

*****

At 12:30 p.m. on February 24, a 37-year-old police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was assaulted with a knife while handling a person with a mental illness. Earlier that morning, a subject with a diagnosed mental illness and a history of threatening to cut herself with a knife locked herself inside her apartment. A social worker and the subject’s therapist arrived at the subject’s apartment at 9:30 a.m. and requested that she open her door so they could see that she was all right. The social worker and the therapist tried unsuccessfully to get the subject to open her door until around 11 a.m. At that time, they contacted the LAPD for assistance. Initially, two officers arrived and attempted to convince the subject to open her door. When they were unsuccessful, they called for assistance, and a sergeant and six more officers arrived. The officers tried repeatedly for nearly an hour to get the subject to open her door. The sergeant finally gave the order for the officers to breach the subject’s door shortly before noon. The officers disabled the deadbolt and the door knob. The veteran officer, who had 10 years of law enforcement experience, attempted to push the door open, but the subject stood on the other side of the door and pushed back against him. Another officer attempted to pry the door open with a crowbar, while the veteran officer continued to push on the door. The subject had a large knife in each hand and slashed the veteran officer, who was wearing body armor, on the right forearm as he pushed the door open. Instead of entering the apartment, the officers allowed the door to close, and they stepped back. They radioed for the SWAT team to assist and, while waiting for the SWAT team to arrive, made further requests to the suspect to exit her apartment. The SWAT team arrived and repeatedly directed the suspect to exit her apartment and submit to arrest. The suspect refused, and the ensuing standoff lasted nearly 6 hours. During that time, officers evacuated the suspect’s neighbors from their apartments and obtained the necessary warrants to arrest the suspect and search her residence. The officers contacted the suspect’s son who eventually persuaded her to exit her residence at 5:20 p.m. The victim officer was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for the wound on his arm and released. The 59-year-old offender, who had no prior criminal record, was charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer. The wounded officer recovered from his injuries and returned to duty.

*****

A 39-year-old officer with the Merced Police Department (MPD) was shot during a traffic pursuit and stop on February 28 at approximately 2:30 a.m. The officer, along with another MPD officer, had arrived on the scene of a traffic stop involving two men. Just prior to the officers’ arrival, the driver of the vehicle had failed to immediately stop when officers had signaled him to do so, and assistance had been requested. The officer, who had more than 9 years of law enforcement service, walked to the passenger side of the vehicle. He noticed that the passenger had his hand concealed. The officer asked the man to show his hand, and the man did not immediately comply. After a moment, the man revealed he had a .38-caliber revolver and fired on the officer. Rounds struck the victim officer in his hand and his body armor (in the front lower torso/stomach). The driver of the vehicle then sped away with the passenger, and the other officers pursued the vehicle. Later, the driver wrecked the car in a nearby alley, and both the driver and passenger fled on foot. The 30-year-old suspect was found wounded during a yard-to-yard search, and the firearm used to assault the victim officer was located nearby. He was taken into custody. The suspect was on probation at the time of the incident and had a prior criminal record, including murder, a violent crime, police assault, a weapons violation, and a drug law violation. He was charged with Attempted Homicide of a Law Enforcement Officer, Prohibited Person with Firearm, Gang Enhancement, and Violation of Probation. Officers also arrested the driver at a nearby residence. The victim officer had not returned to duty at the time of this report.

Back to Top

Georgia

On October 27 at 11:40 p.m., a corporal and a patrol officer with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department (SCMPD) were shot and wounded during a traffic stop. The 43-year-old veteran corporal, who had more than 7 years of law enforcement experience, and his partner stopped a vehicle after it failed to yield at an intersection and pulled out in front of their patrol vehicle, nearly causing a collision. The corporal approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, while his partner approached the passenger’s side. The corporal asked the driver for his driver’s license. The driver stated that he did not have his license with him, so the corporal ordered the driver to turn off the vehicle and hand over the keys. The corporal explained that he would place the keys on the vehicle’s roof just long enough to obtain and verify the driver’s information. The driver hesitated to hand over the keys, so the officer quickly took them. The driver continued to exhibit anxious behavior while the corporal was writing down his information, so the corporal asked him to exit the vehicle in order to check him for weapons. About this time, a second patrol vehicle arrived to provide backup. A 27-year-old SCMPD patrol officer, who had nearly 3 years of law enforcement experience, and his partner got out of the patrol vehicle. The patrol officer approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and stood behind the corporal as his partner walked toward the passenger’s side. The corporal opened the driver’s side door to allow the driver to exit the vehicle as he had requested. The driver did not comply and started inching toward the vehicle’s center console. When the corporal noticed the driver reaching into the console, he repeatedly commanded the driver to put his hands where the corporal could see them. The driver did not comply and continued reaching into the console, so the corporal leaned into the vehicle’s open door. With his left hand, the corporal grabbed the driver’s left arm while drawing his service weapon with his right hand. The driver suddenly exited the vehicle and fired a .38-caliber revolver in the direction of the corporal and the patrol officer, who were both wearing body armor. Both officers were struck in the front below the waist—the corporal in the left hip and the patrol officer in the right hip. When the suspect attempted to flee, three of the four officers returned fire. The 25-year-old suspect was fatally wounded. The suspect had a prior criminal record that included police assault, a violent crime, and a drug law violation. The victim corporal and victim patrol officer were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Both officers recovered from their wounds and returned to duty.

Back to Top

Michigan

A 45-year-old corporal with the Detroit Police Department was wounded during a tactical situation on May 23. Around 7 a.m., police were called to a residence where shots had been fired. When officers arrived, emergency medical services were already on the scene, and personnel were tending to a female victim. A suspect had fired shots into a residence, and glass from a broken window caused a wound to the woman’s chest. Several members of the woman’s family told officers that the suspect fled to another residence where he was holding his wife and children hostage at gunpoint. The woman’s family members began to get into their cars to go to the suspect’s location. Fearing an active shooter incident, officers went to the residence where the suspect was reported to be and stopped the victim’s family members from entering. Officers saw a man lean through a broken front window of the residence and point a pump-action shotgun at them, advising them to back up. The officers cleared the area, and additional responding units set up a perimeter that included the area near the residence. They also established a command post in a nearby street. Several times, the man leaned out of the broken window or the front door, sometimes holding a handgun, before quickly going back into the residence. Then, a young female exited the front door carrying a small child, and officers guided them to the nearby command post. Approximately 30 minutes later, the front door opened again, and a young male who was carrying another small child exited the residence; they were also directed to the command post. Sometime later, a SWAT team arrived and took over the scene. At 10:29 a.m., the suspect exited the house, jumped off the porch, and fired two shots from a pump-action shotgun at officers. The corporal, a 15-year veteran of law enforcement who was wearing body armor, was wounded in the front of his head. Officers returned fire, striking the suspect. Medic teams on site attended to the victim corporal and the suspect. The 25-year-old suspect was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, justifiably killed by officers. The victim corporal has since returned to duty.

*****

At 10 a.m. on November 16, a police officer with the Detroit Police Department was shot while assisting another officer who was attempting an arrest. The 28-year-old officer was a veteran of law enforcement with 7 years of experience. Officers were dispatched to a park to investigate a possible stolen vehicle. Officers located the vehicle in a field with a male and female in the backseat. After noticing the officers’ presence, with all the vehicle doors locked, the male removed a handgun from his waistband, concealed it under the driver’s seat, and then moved from the backseat of the vehicle up to the driver’s seat. Officers ordered the male to open the door, but he refused and requested the officers call a supervisor. The officers requested backup and a supervisor. After backup officers arrived, the male continued to disregard the officers’ orders. The female then opened the rear door and exited the vehicle. The male shut and locked the door behind her to prevent the officers from entering the vehicle. He started the engine and quickly accelerated the vehicle causing it to spin. He continued driving and exited the park. Additional officers began to pursue the vehicle until the male pulled into the driveway of a residence and exited the vehicle. The officers pursued the suspect on foot until he tripped over a fence in the backyard of the residence. The 43-year-old suspect began shooting at the officers with a 9 mm handgun, and officers returned fire. The victim officer, who was wearing body armor at the time of the incident, was struck in the front below the waist (lower leg). The suspect was also wounded and subsequently arrested. The suspect had a prior criminal record including murder, a violent crime, a weapons violation, and a drug law violation. He was charged with Assault with Intent to Murder, Felon in Possession, Fleeing and Eluding, and a Felony Firearm Law Violation. The victim officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment to his wound, from which he has recovered and returned to duty.

*****

A 29-year-old patrol officer with the Flint Township Police Department was shot while investigating suspicious persons and circumstances near a local hotel around 10:30 p.m. on January 23. The officer, who had 2 years of law enforcement experience at the time, was sitting in his marked patrol vehicle when he noticed two men in a van pull into a hotel across the street. He ran the van’s license plate number and learned that the van was registered to a man who had three outstanding arrest warrants. The officer drove into the hotel’s parking lot and saw the van was now backed up to the door of a hotel room, and the two individuals were unloading items from the van into the room. The officer parked his vehicle, got out, and approached the driver. He asked the man if he was the owner of the van; the man said he was. The officer told the man that he was under arrest, and he attempted to take him into custody. However, the man resisted and pulled away from the officer, who sent out a call for backup via his portable police radio. As the two struggled, the officer’s right arm became tangled with the subject’s left arm. Then, the officer, who was wearing body armor, heard two gunshots and felt a burning sensation in his left arm and the left side of his chest. Realizing he had been shot, the officer disengaged from the subject, took cover in an adjacent lot, and notified responding officers that he had been shot. The suspect, armed with a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, approached the open door of the van and fired additional rounds at the officer but missed. The suspect then got into the van and drove through the parking lot. At the same time, officers from the Swartz Creek Police Department (SCPD) arrived at the scene. The first SCPD officer pulled his vehicle into the parking lot and drove through a snow bank to position himself behind the van. The second SCPD officer stopped his vehicle behind the first SCPD officer’s car. The suspect stopped the van, put it in reverse, and rammed the first SCPD officer’s vehicle. Then, the suspect exited the van and fired at the first SCPD officer who was still seated in his car. The first SCPD officer returned fire, striking the man several times. The second SCPD officer exited his vehicle and sought cover behind it as the suspect started shooting at him. After being shot, the offender eventually fell to the ground, and officers arrested him. The 55-year-old man was taken to a local hospital for treatment. He was charged with two counts of Assault with Intent to Murder, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, Assaulting/Resisting/Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer—Causing Serious Bodily Injury, and Attempting to Kill a K-9. The victim patrol officer was also taken to a local hospital for treatment to his wounds, including the one to his chest that had been covered by the officer’s protective vest. The wounded officer has since returned to duty.

Back to Top

Nevada

A patrol officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was wounded during an unprovoked attack at an apartment building shortly before noon on December 17. The 52-year-old veteran officer, who had more than 18 years of law enforcement experience, was in a walkway between two apartment buildings attempting to locate a suspect in a domestic disturbance call. While at that location, the officer was approached by an individual (unrelated to the call he was answering) who began yelling “Why are you trying to kill me?” Before the officer, who was wearing body armor, could respond, the individual fired three rounds from a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. One round struck the officer through his left arm and into his front upper torso/chest. The officer, who was also wounded in the rear upper torso/back, was able to fire two rounds from his service weapon. Neither round struck the suspect, who fled the scene. The injured officer was taken to a local hospital in serious but stable condition as other officers established a perimeter. Meanwhile, the suspect called his employer and told him his vehicle had broken down and asked him for a ride. The employer agreed and picked the suspect up at a nearby gas station. The pair drove to the employer’s residence where they stayed the rest of the afternoon. An investigation led officers to the suspect’s location. As a SWAT team was preparing to deploy, they saw a vehicle leave the employer’s residence. Officers covertly followed the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. They took the suspect into custody without incident. The 38-year-old suspect, who had a prior criminal record involving a drug law violation, was arrested and charged with Attempted Murder on a Law Enforcement Officer with a Deadly Weapon (Firearm), Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer with a Deadly Weapon (Firearm), Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer with Substantial Bodily Harm (Firearm), and Discharging a Firearm at/into an Occupied Structure. The employer was completely unaware of the events leading to the suspect’s request for a ride. At the time this incident was reported to the FBI, the injured officer had not returned to duty.

Back to Top

New Mexico

A 30-year-old agent with the Roswell Police Department was shot while assisting with a drug-related special assignment around 8:40 p.m. on July 31. The veteran agent, who had more than 5 years of law enforcement experience, was part of the Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force (CCMNTF). Agents with the CCMNTF, along with the FBI, were conducting a long-term investigation of a drug trafficking organization. Agents received information that the main subject of the investigation had arranged to meet an unknown methamphetamine supplier from Arizona in the parking lot of a restaurant in Roswell. Agents also learned that another individual, a close associate of the main subject, had traveled to Albuquerque with the subject earlier that morning. According to the information, the pair would be returning to Roswell later in the evening to acquire the methamphetamine from the supplier. Because of information gleaned from their long-term investigation, the agents had prior knowledge that the associate of the main subject reportedly possessed multiple firearms and was a heavy methamphetamine user. While traveling to the restaurant, the agents spotted the subject and his associate at a gas station. The agents continued to the meeting place and set up surveillance in and around the restaurant’s parking lot. Eventually, the vehicles belonging to both the subject and the supplier arrived. The main subject who arranged the meeting exited his vehicle and approached the supplier’s vehicle. Multiple agents approached both vehicles on foot, made verbal contact with the subject and the supplier, and ordered the associate, who was in the passenger seat of the subject’s vehicle, to show his hands. By this time, the associate already had his car door open and, without warning, fired two rounds from a .45-caliber revolver in the direction of the agents located at the rear of the vehicle. The second round struck the victim agent, who was wearing body armor, in the front lower torso/stomach. The victim agent fired two rounds from his service weapon at the suspect before falling to the ground; however, both rounds missed the suspect. Other agents fired into the front passenger area of the vehicle, striking and justifiably killing the suspect. The victim agent was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released a few hours later. The round that struck the victim agent had not penetrated his body armor. The 34-year-old suspect had a prior criminal record that included a violent crime and a drug law violation. He was a known drug user, dealer, and possessor, and he was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the incident. The main subject of the investigation and the supplier were taken into custody, uninjured. Subsequent searches of the vehicles revealed a second firearm in the main subject’s vehicle and several pounds of methamphetamine in the supplier’s vehicle. The victim agent recovered from his injury and returned to duty.

Back to Top

Pennsylvania

A 31-year-old trooper with the Pennsylvania State Police, Chambersburg, was shot and wounded in an ambush involving entrapment and premeditation around 8:20 p.m. on July 17 in Chambersburg. Two troopers responded for the second time within 2 hours to a report of gunfire at a local trailer park. When they arrived at the address, they saw the owner of the trailer standing on his porch holding a rifle. The troopers ordered the man to put the rifle down. However, the man shot at the troopers with his .30-30-caliber lever-action rifle, and the troopers returned fire. One of the troopers was struck in the front below his waist (right leg). The subject retreated into his trailer as he continued to shoot at the troopers, and they continued to return fire. The victim trooper, who was wearing body armor and had 1 month of law enforcement service, was able to take cover and apply a tourniquet to his leg. Additional troopers arrived at the scene and set up a perimeter. The troopers removed the victim trooper from the scene and took him to a safe area to await transport to a local hospital. The troopers called out to the subject. The subject responded that he was bleeding and could not move. An entry and arrest team entered the trailer and took the 44-year-old man into custody. The suspect had a history of a mental illness and was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident. After he was treated at a hospital for his wounds, the subject was taken to jail and charged with two counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, two counts of Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, and eight counts of Aggravated Assault. The man also had a prior criminal record that included police assault. The victim trooper required surgery to remove shrapnel from his leg; he has since returned to duty.

Back to Top

Tennessee

A 28-year-old police officer with the Germantown Police Department was injured with a cutting instrument while handling a person with a mental illness on January 8. At 7:41 p.m., the police officer, a veteran with 5 years of law enforcement experience, and his partner responded to a report of a suicidal individual. The dispatcher advised the officers that the subject had a knife, and she was threatening others. When the officers arrived at the residence, a family member requested that the officers go upstairs where a woman was threatening her mother with a kitchen knife. When they arrived upstairs, they saw that the subject was outside a bathroom where she had her mother cornered. The officer’s partner announced they were police and commanded the woman to drop the knife, but she used an expletive and refused to drop it. The woman ignored multiple requests to disarm, while her mother took the distraction as an opportunity to try to slam the door to the bathroom to further block the attack. In response, the woman kicked the door open again and swung the knife toward her mother. Her mother dodged the knife, but the woman pulled the knife back, preparing to swing again. Due to the imminent danger, the officer’s partner grasped the hand holding the knife and took the woman to the ground to prevent her from stabbing her mother. The officer, who was wearing body armor, took the woman’s other hand and began the handcuffing process. The woman actively resisted and managed to stab the victim officer in his arms/hands with the knife before his partner was able to remove the knife from the woman’s hand. The victim officer’s partner handed the knife to another officer who had arrived at the scene. The woman continued to resist and kick the officers. More officers arrived at the residence, and it took four of them to secure the woman and place her into the patrol unit. The victim officer was treated for a laceration to his upper left arm and was able to return to duty. The 32-year-old woman was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Domestic Assault, and Resisting Arrest. She had a prior criminal record that included a violent crime and police assault. The woman’s family reported she had a history of depression and suicidal tendencies and had not been taking her medications.

Back to Top

Texas

On January 17 at approximately 4 a.m., an officer with the Fort Worth Police Department was assaulted with a knife during a traffic stop. The 29-year-old officer, a veteran with 7 years of law enforcement experience, observed a vehicle run a stop sign at an intersection and then turn without activating a turn signal. The officer used his overhead lights and initiated a traffic stop. The officer exited his patrol vehicle and made contact with the driver. The driver handed the officer a Texas identification card and stated he did not have insurance on the vehicle. The officer returned to his patrol vehicle to check for warrants and discovered the driver had multiple outstanding arrest warrants. The officer requested assistance and intended to arrest the driver for the outstanding warrants. The officer returned to the stopped vehicle and asked the man to exit and walk back to the patrol vehicle. The man exited, turned away from the officer, and began walking quickly toward the patrol vehicle. The man’s hands were concealed inside his jacket, and his pace and tense body language indicated that he might flee. The officer grasped the man’s left elbow and forearm in an escort hold and prepared to handcuff the man. The man ignored the officer’s instructions to put his hands on the hood of the patrol vehicle and continued walking. The officer placed one handcuff on the man’s left wrist, and the man spun around counterclockwise and used his right hand to strike the officer in the left rib cage area approximately three times. The officer continued to struggle with the man and noticed a knife in his right hand. The officer then realized the man had been attempting to stab him when he had been struck in the rib cage, but the knife could not penetrate his body armor. The man continued to try to free his right arm and ignored the officer’s verbal commands. The officer warned he would shoot the man if he did not drop the knife. The man continued to struggle; the officer placed his firearm, a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, against the man’s left lower back and fired two rounds. The man fell, and the officer, still holding the handcuffs, fell on top of the man straddling him near the waist. The officer attempted to get up to create a safe distance between them, but the man sat up and stabbed the officer twice in the left thigh with the knife. The officer realized the man was still attempting to injure or kill him, and the officer fired two more rounds, hitting the man. The officer then looked down and realized the knife was embedded in his thigh. He pulled the knife out and used his handheld radio to call for help. He then fell to the ground while keeping his firearm pointed at the subject. Backup officers and medical units arrived a short time later. The 27-year-old subject had been justifiably killed by the victim officer. The subject was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the incident and had a prior criminal record for a violent crime, a weapons violation, and a drug law violation. The officer recovered from his injuries and returned to duty.

*****

A 43-year-old veteran sergeant with the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD), who had more than 18 years of law enforcement experience, survived a premeditated ambush at 7 p.m. on January 29. About 6:15 p.m., the FWPD received several 911 calls in reference to an audible panic alarm at a residence. Because one of the individuals at the residence had been involved in a prior aggravated assault with a firearm, the FWPD’s computer-aided dispatch system sent an automatic hazardous location notification to officers. The officer who responded to the call checked the exterior of the residence and did not see anything unusual. The officer returned to his vehicle to wait for backup. Two sergeants, riding together, arrived to assist. The officer and two sergeants walked to the front door and spoke to the homeowner who said she wasn’t sure why the panic alarm was going off. She indicated she and her son were the only ones in the house, and no assistance was needed from the police department. She reported she would attempt to get the alarm turned off. The officers left the residence and returned to their usual duties. Around 6:45 p.m., FWPD dispatch received a 911 call from the same homeowner who reported that her 40-year-old son had locked himself in his bedroom, and she was unable to make contact with him. She was concerned her son may be having a medical emergency, and she was unable to open his bedroom door to check his condition. Four police officers and an ambulance were dispatched to the residence. The two sergeants who had responded to the earlier call volunteered to return to the residence. Once again, dispatch issued an automatic hazardous location notification. In addition, one of the responding officers informed the other officers that he also had knowledge of prior incidents at the residence involving the homeowner’s son. The two sergeants and four officers arrived at the residence shortly before 7 p.m. in fully marked patrol vehicles wearing standard police uniforms. The ambulance parked away from the residence and awaited notification that it was safe to approach. Two officers and a sergeant stayed in the front yard while the veteran sergeant and two of the officers walked to the front door of the residence. The homeowner met them there and repeated the situation involving her son to the officers. When officers asked her if her son had any weapons, the homeowner responded she was not aware of any. The homeowner led the veteran sergeant and the two officers to her son’s bedroom and knocked on the closed door. She called her son’s name, but he did not respond. One of the officers went outside the residence and looked through the bedroom window to check on the man’s condition. She was unable to see anything through the window, and then remained outside with the sergeant and two officers stationed in the front yard. Back inside the residence, the remaining officer knocked loudly on the man’s bedroom door, while the veteran sergeant announced that they were police officers and asked the man to open the door. The man did not respond, so the officer forced the door open with his knee. The sergeant and the officer could see the man lying on the bed across the room, covered with a bed sheet. The man asked the officers, “What’s going on?” As the sergeant began to tell the man why the officers were there, the man fired four rounds at the officers from a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun. The veteran sergeant was standing just outside the bedroom doorway, and at least two of the rounds struck him in the front below the waist and in the arms/hands. The other officer returned fire and justifiably killed the suspect. The suspect, who was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the incident, had a prior criminal record that included a violent crime. The injured veteran sergeant survived his injuries and later returned to duty.

Back to Top

Virginia

A 36-year-old patrol officer with the Richmond Police Department was shot in the arms/hands while responding to a disturbance call shortly before 5:30 p.m. on August 5. The officer, a veteran of law enforcement with more than 8 ½ years of experience, was dispatched with other officers to a report of an individual flashing a firearm. The officers turned into a nearby alley where they saw a person matching the description of the individual with the firearm. Upon exiting the vehicle, one of the officers asked the individual his name, and he replied. The officer also saw a handgun in the right side of the individual’s waistband. When the officer asked the individual to come over, the individual asked if he was under arrest. The officer said no, and the individual began running down the alley. Officers pursued; the first officer, who had spoken to the individual, veered around a parked car. The second officer stayed behind the individual, who fell on some gravel. The officer, not anticipating the individual’s fall, ran past him a slight distance before stopping. The officer, who was wearing body armor, turned to face the individual and reached for his conductive energy device. At the same time, the individual rose, produced a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, and fired a single shot at the officer at close range, striking him in the arms/hands (left arm). The victim officer, who was known to the suspect through a prior law enforcement relationship, fell to the ground, and the suspect began to run down the alley in the direction they had just come from. As the suspect ran, he continued to fire at the officers. The victim officer, despite his wound, was able to get on his knees and fire a shot at the suspect with his service weapon, but missed. The victim officer then held his fire to avoid hitting the pursuing officer. The pursuing officer continued to chase the suspect, who had turned as he ran away and shot at both officers. The pursuing officer fired back at the suspect with his handgun until the suspect made a turn around a wooden fence and shed. When the officer regained sight of the suspect, he was on the ground near a fence; the suspect did not respond to the officer’s commands. When other officers arrived, they placed the suspect in handcuffs and called for an ambulance. The 20-year-old suspect, who was on probation at the time of the incident and was known to use and deal drugs, had a prior criminal record that included a violent crime and a weapons violation. He was justifiably killed by the pursuing officer during their exchange of gunfire. The victim officer was taken to a local hospital in a police vehicle. He has since returned to duty.

Back to Top

West Virginia

On January 1, a lieutenant and a patrol officer with the Lewisburg Police Department were both shot during a traffic stop at 4:20 p.m. The 36-year old veteran lieutenant, who had 15 years of law enforcement experience, and the 20-year-old patrol officer, who been on the job for 1 month, were both wearing body armor when they stopped a man driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen by a law enforcement agency in Texas. The father of the man the officers had stopped was traveling with him in a second vehicle, a truck. The father pulled in at the scene of the traffic stop and fired on both officers with a .38-caliber handgun. One of the officers returned fire and struck the suspect in the leg. The suspect’s son fled the scene in the truck his father had been driving. During the encounter, both officers received lacerations to their heads—the lieutenant to the rear of his head and the patrol officer to the front of his head. The patrol officer was also struck in the rear lower torso/back, but the officer’s protective vest prevented a potentially lethal injury. The suspect’s son later abandoned the truck and continued to flee on foot, but officers located him in nearby woods and apprehended him around 5:40 p.m. It was later determined that the 54-year-old suspect who shot the officers had traveled with his son from Texas to West Virginia. Officers investigating the incident found two deceased adult bodies, a male and a female, concealed under a mattress in the back of the truck, along with two dead dogs and other related evidence. The truck was registered in North Carolina to the male murder victim. Both murder victims had been reported as missing persons in North Carolina. Allegedly, the suspect killed the victims at their home in North Carolina, burned the couple’s home, and stole their truck. The suspect was charged with two counts of First-Degree Murder, two counts of Attempted Murder, and two counts of Malicious Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. The suspect had a prior criminal record that included a violent crime, a drug law violation, and a weapons violation. He was on conditional release at the time of the incidents. Both victim officers were treated for their injuries and returned to duty.

Back to Top