Home LEOKA 2017 Topic Pages Officers Feloniously Killed

Officers Feloniously Killed

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The following information concerns law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2017 as a result of felonious incidents. The law enforcement officers included in this report met certain criteria, such as, they had full arrest powers and they ordinarily wore/carried a badge and a firearm.

Overview

In 2017, 46 law enforcement officers died from injuries incurred in the line of duty during felonious incidents. (See Table 1.)

  • Line-of-duty deaths occurred in 25 states and in Puerto Rico. (See Table 1.)
  • By region, 24 officers were feloniously killed in the South, 11 officers in the Midwest, 6 officers in the West, 3 officers in the Northeast, and 2 officers in Puerto Rico. (See Table 1.)

Of the officers feloniously killed, 26 were employed by city police departments, including 8 who were members of law enforcement agencies in cities with 250,000 or more inhabitants. (See Table 2.)

Victim profile

  • The average age of the officers who died in 2017 was 38 years old. (See Table 10.)
  • The slain officers’ average length of law enforcement service was 11 years. (See Table 11.)
  • Of the officers who died due to felonious incidents in 2017, 43 were male and 3 were female. (See Table 15.)
  • By race, 35 of the victim officers were White, 9 were Black/African American, and 2 were American Indian/Alaska Native. (See Table 15.)

Circumstances encountered by victim officer upon arrival at the scene of the incident (See Table 24.)

  • 21 officers died as a result of investigative or enforcement activities.
    • 6 were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances. 
    • 6 were involved in tactical situations. 
    • 3 were conducting traffic violation stops. 
    • 2 were performing investigative activities. 
    • 1 was investigating a drug-related matter. 
    • 1 was investigating a motor vehicle crash. 
    • 1 was conducting a felony traffic stop. 
    • 1 was interacting with a wanted person.
  • 6 officers were involved in pursuits.
    • 4 were involved in foot pursuits. 
    • 2 were involved in vehicular pursuits.
  • 5 officers were ambushed (entrapment/premeditation).
  • 4 officers were involved in arrest situations.
    • 3 were verbally advising offenders during the arrest situations. 
    • 1 was attempting to control/handcuff/restrain the offender(s) during the arrest situation.
  • 3 officers were involved in unprovoked attacks.
  • 2 officers were assisting other law enforcement officers.
    • 1 was deploying or providing equipment such as traffic cones or flares. 
    • 1 was assisting another officer with a vehicular pursuit.
  • 2 officers responded to crimes in progress.
    • 1 was a robbery in progress. 
    • 1 was a report of a shooting or shots being fired.  
  • 1 officer was on administrative assignment and was performing a prisoner transport.
  • 1 officer responded to a disorder/disturbance and encountered a domestic disturbance upon arrival.
  • 1 officer encountered or was assisting an emotionally disturbed person.

Assignments (See Table 21.)

  • 30 officers were on assigned vehicle patrol when the felonious incidents occurred.
  • 4 officers were assigned to investigative/detective duties.
  • 3 officers were on tactical assignments (uniformed).
  • 2 officers were on special assignments.
  • 1 officer was on a plainclothes assignment.
  • 1 officer was conducting court/prisoner security.
  • 2 officers were involved in overtime/extra duty activities or other types of assignments.
  • 3 slain officers were off duty (but acting in official capacities) at the time of the incidents.
  • 23 on-duty officers who died in 2017 were assisted at the times of the attacks.
  • 20 on-duty officers were alone and unassisted at the times of the attacks.

Weapons

Of the officers killed in 2017, most (42) were killed with firearms. Of these, 32 were killed with handguns. (See Table 28.) 

  • 10 officers fired their weapons; 10 officers attempted to fire their weapons. (See Table 18.)
  • 2 officers had their weapons stolen. (Based on Table 19.) 
  • 1 officer was killed with his/her own weapon. (Based on Table 19.)
  • 14 officers were slain with firearms when they were 0-5 feet from the offenders. (See Table 32.)

Body armor

In 2017, 34 of the officers feloniously killed were wearing body armor at the time of the incidents. (See Table 35.)

Of these officers, 31 were killed with firearms (see Table 36), and incurred the following wounds: 

  • 11 suffered wounds to the front of the head.
  • 7 were shot in the front upper torso/chest.
  • 6 were wounded in the side of the head.
  • 3 were shot in the neck/throat. 
  • 1 was shot in the rear of the head.
  • 1 was shot in the front lower torso/abdomen.

In 2 incidents, the location of the fatal wound could not be determined due to multiple wound locations.

Months, days, and times of incidents

  • More officers (7) died from felonious assaults that occurred in May than in any other month in 2017. (See Table 9.)
  • More officers (9) were involved in fatal assaults that occurred on Fridays than on any other day of the week. (See Table 6.)
  • 17 officers were fatally injured in assaults that happened between 12:01 a.m. and noon. (See Table 7.)
  • 29 officers were fatally injured in assaults that happened between 12:01 p.m. and midnight. (See Table 7.)

Profile of alleged known assailants

In 2017, 44 alleged offenders were identified in connection with the 46 law enforcement officers feloniously killed. Of those offenders, the following characteristics are known:

  • The average age of the alleged offenders was 36 years old. (See Table 40.)
  • The average height was 5 feet 10 inches tall, and the average weight was 184 pounds. (See Table 41.)
  • All 44 alleged offenders were male. (See Table 42.)
  • 26 of the alleged offenders were White, 16 were Black/African American, 1 was American Indian/Alaska Native, and 1 was Asian (See Table 42.)
  • 18 of the alleged offenders were under judicial supervision at the time of the incidents. (See Table 45.)
  • 5 of the alleged offenders were under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the fatal incidents. (See Table 45.)
  • 1 of the alleged offenders was under the influence of alcohol or was intoxicated at the time of the fatal incident. (See Table 45.)
  • 40 of the alleged offenders had prior criminal arrests. (See Table 46.)

Information about officers feloniously killed can be found in Tables 1-47.