The following information concerns duly sworn city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers who died in 2015 as a result of felonious incidents in the line of duty. The law enforcement officers included in this report also met additional criteria (e.g., they had full arrest powers; they ordinarily wore/carried a badge and a firearm).
In 2015, 41 law enforcement officers died from injuries incurred in the line of duty during felonious incidents. (See Table 1.)
- Line-of-duty deaths occurred in 21 states and in Puerto Rico. (See Table 1.)
- By region, 19 officers were feloniously killed in the South, 9 officers in the West, 5 officers in the Midwest, 4 officers in the Northeast, and 4 officers in Puerto Rico. (See Table 1.)
Of the officers feloniously killed, 24 were employed by city police departments, including 10 who were members of law enforcement agencies in cities with 250,000 or more inhabitants. (See Table 2.)
- The average age of the officers who died in 2015 was 40 years old. (See Table 10.)
- The slain officers’ average length of law enforcement service was 12 years. (See Table 11.)
- Of the officers who died due to felonious incidents in 2015, 38 were male, and 3 were female. (See Table 15.)
- By race, 29 of the victim officers were White, 8 were Black/African American, 2 were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 2 were Asian/Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander. (See Table 15.)
Circumstances (See Table 23.)
- 8 officers died as a result of investigating suspicious persons or circumstances.
- 7 officers were killed as a result of tactical situations (barricaded offender, hostage taking, high-risk entry, etc.).
- 6 officers were fatally injured during traffic pursuits or stops.
- 5 officers died as a result of arrest situations.
- 4 officers were killed in ambush situations.
- 3 officers who died had responded to disturbance calls.
- 3 officers were killed in unprovoked attacks.
- 2 officers were fatally injured while handling, transporting, or maintaining custody of prisoners.
- 2 officers were handling persons with mental illness.
- 1 officer was conducting an investigative activity (surveillance, search, interview, etc.).
Assignments (See Table 21.)
- 29 officers were on assigned vehicle patrol when the felonious incidents occurred.
- 10 officers were assigned to other duties, such as detectives, officers on special assignments, undercover officers, or officers on other types of assignments not listed.
- 2 of the slain officers were off duty (but acting in an official capacity) at the times of the incidents.
- 24 on-duty officers who died in 2015 were assisted at the times of the attacks.
- 15 on-duty officers were alone and unassisted at the times of the attacks.
Of the officers killed in 2015, most (38) were killed with firearms. Of these, 29 were killed with handguns. (See Table 28.)
- 6 officers fired their weapons; 6 officers attempted to fire their weapons. (See Table 18.)
- 3 officers had their weapons stolen. (Based on Table 19.)
- 12 officers were slain with firearms when they were 0-5 feet from the offenders. (See Table 31.)
In 2015, 30 of the officers feloniously killed were wearing body armor at the time of the incidents. (See Table 34.)
- Of these officers, 27 were killed with firearms (see Table 35), and incurred the following fatal wounds:
- 8 suffered wounds to the front of the head.
- 4 were shot in the rear of the head.
- 4 were shot in the front upper torso/chest.
- 3 were shot in the neck/throat.
- 2 were shot in the rear upper torso/back.
- 1 was wounded in the side of the head.
- 1 was shot in the front lower torso/stomach.
- 1 was wounded in the rear lower torso/back.
- 1 was shot in the front below the waist.
- 1 was shot in the rear below the waist.
- The location of the fatal wound was not reported for 1 victim officer.
Months, days, and times of incidents
- More officers (10) died from felonious assaults that occurred in May than in any other month in 2015. (See Table 9.)
- More officers (9) were involved in fatal assaults that occurred on Wednesdays than on any other day of the week. (See Table 6.)
- 22 officers were fatally injured in assaults that happened between 12:01 a.m. and noon. (See Table 7.)
- 18 officers were fatally injured in assaults that happened between 12:01 p.m. and midnight. (See Table 7.)
- The time of day was not reported for 1 incident. (See Table 7.)
Profile of alleged known assailants
In 2015, 37 alleged offenders were identified in connection with the 41 law enforcement officers feloniously killed. Of those offenders, the following characteristics are known:
- The average age of the alleged offenders was 33 years old. (See Table 39.)
- The average height was 5 feet 11 inches tall, and the average weight was 188 pounds. (See Table 40.)
- All 37 alleged offenders were male. (See Table 41.)
- 17 of the alleged offenders were Black/African American, 16 were White, 1 was American Indian/Alaska Native, and race was not reported for 3 offenders. (See Table 41.)
- 9 of the alleged offenders were under judicial supervision at the time of the incidents. (See Table 44.)
- 10 of the alleged offenders were under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the fatal incidents. (See Table 44.)
- 6 of the alleged offenders were under the influence of alcohol or were intoxicated at the time of the fatal incidents. (See Table 44.)
- 31 of the alleged offenders had prior criminal arrests. (See Table 45.)
Information about officers feloniously killed can be found in Tables 1-46.