Summaries of Officers Assaulted
Note: In 2019, the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Program received reports of 75 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.
A patrol officer with the Auburn Police Department (APD) was severely injured at 6:25 p.m. on February 15. The 30-year-old officer was shot while investigating an armed robbery that had taken place earlier that day. At 5:30 p.m., the APD received a call reporting an armed robbery in progress at a business. The caller believed the suspect possessed a firearm and an explosive. When officers arrived at the business, the suspect had fled in a vehicle. Officers collected the description of the suspect and getaway vehicle and broadcast the information to all law enforcement personnel in the area. Less than an hour later, the APD officer, a veteran of law enforcement with 5 years’ experience, saw the suspect’s vehicle traveling on a roadway that was less than a mile from the location of the robbery. When the suspect turned his vehicle into a nearby parking lot, the officer followed and activated his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop. Before approaching the vehicle, the officer observed that the driver was female and determined that the male passenger fit the description of the suspect; therefore, the officer approached the passenger side. The officer’s body camera and in-car dash camera footage showed the suspect refused to obey the officer’s commands to keep his hands in sight. The officer saw the suspect draw a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun. The officer, who was wearing body armor, reached inside the vehicle through the window to control the armed offender, but the offender shot the officer in the side of his head. The officer fell back and attempted to seek cover. The offender exited the vehicle and continued firing at the injured officer. The offender fired 11 rounds at the officer, striking him six times. In addition to his head, the officer was shot in his rear upper torso/back, rear below his waist/buttocks, and his arms/hands. The officer took cover in a nearby ditch, and the offender returned to the vehicle and fled the scene. Witnesses called 911, and responding officers arrived about a minute after the offender fled. They rendered aid to the injured officer until emergency medical personnel transported him to a local hospital. Immediate investigation of the scene included reviewing video footage of the offender. Officers recognized him and knew his name. Around 9:45 p.m., APD officers gathered intelligence that the offender was at an apartment approximately 5 miles away from the scene of the shooting. Lee County SWAT arrived at the apartment, and as they were detaining the residents, officers saw the offender inside. He began shooting at the officers, and the officers returned fire. The offender retreated to a room in the back of the residence. Shortly after, officers realized the room the offender was in was on fire, and they retreated and set up a perimeter around the building. The local fire department responded and extinguished the blaze. Law enforcement found two bodies inside the burned room, that of the offender and the female driver. The autopsy reports showed the female had been shot in the head and had died before the fire started. Her death was ruled a homicide. The 38-year-old offender died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was wanted on a felony warrant and had a criminal history that included a drug law violation and a weapons violation. The injured APD officer has since returned to duty.
On April 20, a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was wounded during a foot pursuit with a subject. At 9:21 p.m., a 31-year-old officer with nearly 4 years of law enforcement experience and another LAPD officer were surveilling an area in a patrol vehicle, performing gang enforcement detail when they began following a vehicle for vehicle code violations. The officers turned on their emergency lights so the driver would pull the vehicle over to the side of the road. As the vehicle came to a stop near an intersection, the driver jumped out and ran into a nearby housing development. The officers believed the subject was armed with a handgun, so they exited their patrol vehicle and began pursuing him on foot. Video footage of the incident was captured by both officers’ body cameras, the patrol vehicle’s in-car dash camera, and the housing authority’s security camera. As the officers chased the subject between two buildings, another individual appeared and approached the officers and the subject. When he was about 15 feet from the officers, the newcomer drew a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun from his waistband and fired three rounds at the 31-year-old officer, striking him in the front upper torso/chest above his body armor, his front lower torso/abdomen, and the front below his waist/groin area. The wounded officer drew his service weapon and fired five rounds at the offender, striking him three times in the abdomen. The rounds stopped the offender’s attack, and the other officer administered first aid to the wounded officer before he was transported to a nearby hospital. Emergency medical personnel transported the 39-year-old offender to a local hospital via ambulance. After he was discharged from the hospital, the offender was arrested and charged with one count of Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer. He had a criminal record that included aggravated assault, domestic violence, a drug law violation, robbery, and a weapons violation. Police have not identified the driver of the vehicle that they originally sought to pull over for vehicle code violations. At the time this incident was reported to the FBI, the wounded officer had not returned to duty.
On February 25 at 12:04 p.m., a 30-year-old police officer with the Pittsburg Police Department (PPD) suffered minor injuries while attempting to restrain an offender. The officer, who had nearly 3 years of law enforcement experience, along with two members of the Crisis Negotiation Team and others, responded to a call for service involving domestic violence between a father and a son at the father’s residence. The caller reported that the son was using a knife with a 4-inch blade to stab and slash into the metal screen security door and the exterior of the residence. Dashboard and body camera footage show that officers encountered the suspect about a block away from the residence, still armed with the knife. Officers repeatedly ordered the subject to drop the knife, but he did not comply. An officer deployed a less-lethal round, striking the subject in his abdomen to no effect, possibly because the subject was wearing a bulky jacket and was under the influence of amphetamine/methamphetamine. After again ordering the suspect to drop the knife, a second officer deployed an electronic control weapon, striking the subject in his temple and his chest to no effect. The subject continued to ignore commands to drop the knife, so the first officer fired another less-lethal round, striking the subject in the chest. At the same time, a third officer deployed her electronic control weapon, striking the subject in the chest, but these tactics were also not effective. A fourth officer deployed his K-9, who bit the subject’s left forearm. The subject tried to stab the K-9, so the 30-year-old PPD officer tackled the offender. During the ensuing physical altercation, the offender stabbed the 30-year-old PPD officer above his body armor, striking his left shoulder (upper torso) area. Another officer disarmed the offender and assisting officers handcuffed him and placed him in a restraint device because of his continued combative behavior. The injured officer was treated for his wound. He has since returned to duty. The 33-year-old offender was transported to a local hospital, then arrested and charged with Assault with Deadly Weapon—Not Firearm, Obstructing/Resisting Executive Officer, Use/Under the Influence of Controlled Substance. His criminal history included charges for aggravated assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, domestic violence, a drug law violation, a weapons violation, and robbery.
A 26-year-old officer with the Greeley Police Department (GPD) was shot and injured while attempting a high-risk traffic stop at 11:30 p.m. on November 14 in Evans. Approximately two hours earlier, a person called 911 to report that someone had shot at his vehicle as he was driving. The caller described the suspect vehicle’s color, make, and model to the dispatcher. At 10:45 p.m., a deputy from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office located the suspect’s vehicle approximately 11 miles away at a gas station. The deputy noted the vehicle’s license plate number before the driver fled in the vehicle. Nearly an hour later, the GPD officer, who had 2 ½ years of law enforcement experience, located the vehicle being driven by the suspect and began a pursuit. Sometime during the chase, the offender began shooting at the officer with a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle. Approximately 9 minutes after the pursuit began, the offender drove to his residence. He stopped in front of the house, exited his vehicle, and immediately fired at officers. The GPD officer, who was wearing body armor, was shot once in the arms/hands. The officer took cover behind his patrol car and returned fire but did not strike the offender. The offender ran into the house and barricaded the door. At 1:44 a.m. on November 15, the offender told SWAT officers not to enter the residence and said he was going to commit suicide. A short time later, officers heard a single gunshot and later found the 40-year-old offender deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In all, the offender shot 55 rounds at officers. The offender was under the influence of amphetamines/methamphetamines at the time of the incident. He was known to law enforcement as a violent offender with a gang affiliation. He had a criminal record that included aggravated assault, a drug law violation, and a weapons violation. The injured GPD officer has since returned to duty.
In the early hours of August 1, a 48-year-old police officer with the DeKalb County Police Department sustained severe injuries while checking on the welfare of a citizen in Lithonia. On July 31 beginning at 11:50 p.m., DeKalb County Communications received three phone calls in quick succession from the same number in Lithonia. The operator received little information from the calls but was able to discern that a female caller was being threatened by someone in the residence. Four minutes later, three officers responded to the address. Finding no lights on, the officers knocked on the door but received no answer. The officers looked around the outside of the residence but saw nothing alarming. The officers requested the dispatcher phone the complainant. When no one answered the call, the officers left the scene. At 12:29 a.m., another female called from a different phone number and reported that a family member called and awakened her, saying that during an argument, the caller’s son had shot his girlfriend. The caller immediately hung up. Three officers (two of whom were at the residence earlier) were dispatched to the scene. The operator called the complainant back and confirmed that the complainant’s son had shot his girlfriend, and that he was shooting at the officers who had already arrived at the residence. Body camera footage shows that as the three officers approached the front door of the residence, they encountered rifle fire from the subject inside. The 48-year-old officer, who had almost 3 years of law enforcement experience, was struck by three rounds, sustaining injuries below his body armor in front below his waist/groin area, his rear lower torso/back, and his arms/hands. As the officers took cover, the wounded officer discharged seven rounds from his service weapon in the direction of the gunfire, and another officer fired one round. None of the rounds struck the offender. The third officer radioed dispatch and alerted them that shots had been fired and an officer was injured. One of the assisting officers administered first aid to the wounded officer and escorted him to an emergency medical services unit. From there, the officer was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. Meanwhile, the DeKalb County SWAT Team, Bomb Unit, K-9 Unit, Traffic Aggressive Control Team, and Aerial Support Unit responded to the scene. The SWAT Team entered the residence and found a deceased female with a chest wound in a second-floor bedroom. After the scene was cleared, a K-9 team began tracking the offender, locating his cell phone and a white shirt in the yard next door to the incident location. K-9 teams continued tracking the offender into the night and the next day with no results. On August 8 at 10:30 p.m., the Fugitive Unit, in conjunction with the K-9 Unit and U.S. Marshals, performed a vehicle traffic stop at a gas station in Lithonia and arrested the offender, who was a passenger in the vehicle, without incident. The 27-year-old offender was charged with Second-Degree Murder, three counts of Aggravated Assault Against a Law Enforcement Officer, Damage to Property, Possession of a Firearm or Knife/Cutting Instrument During a Crime, Probation Violation, and Battery/Family Violence. His criminal history included charges for aggravated assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, a drug law violation, and resisting arrest. At the time this incident was reported to the FBI, the injured officer had not returned to duty.
Two officers with the Henry County Police Department were shot and wounded in Stockbridge on April 4 while responding to a call from a concerned citizen who reported an unresponsive, pregnant female in a nearby garage and blood in the driveway. The caller did not know if the woman was in labor or if it was another issue. Both officers were wearing body cameras, which recorded the incident. Around 10:45 a.m., the two officers arrived at the residence named in the complaint. The garage door was closed, but the officers were able to look inside and see a woman lying on the floor. Unable to gain entry through the garage, the officers went to the front door of the home. With their firearms in their holsters, the officers decided to perform a forced entry to render aid to the female. The 33-year-old officer, who was a 9-year veteran of law enforcement, kicked down the door, and he was immediately met with gunfire from inside the home. The officer was hit in the front below the waist/groin area and front upper torso/chest, but his body armor prevented the bullet from striking him. Despite his blunt-force trauma injuries, the officer was able to make it into the garage. The other officer retreated outside, and the offender continued to shoot at him through a front window. Other officers responded to the scene while the suspect continued to fire rounds. One of the backup officers kicked out the door panels of the garage, allowing the injured officer to escape. Officers set up a perimeter around the house and were awaiting SWAT when the offender yelled out the window that he had a hostage. A few minutes later, the offender fired a shot that struck the other officer who was first to arrive at the scene. The 32-year-old officer, who was also wearing body armor, was struck in his arms/hands. The 7-year veteran of law enforcement was able to crawl to a tree for cover. The 47-year-old offender, who used both a .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun and a 9 mm handgun, eventually killed his juvenile hostage before committing suicide. The woman in the garage also died. The offender had prior arrests for aggravated assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, a drug law violation, resisting arrest, and a weapons violation. Both officers were taken to a local hospital with critical injuries. The 9-year veteran officer has since returned to duty. The 7-year veteran officer had not returned to duty at the time this incident was reported to the FBI.
On March 11, a 34-year-old trooper first class with the Maryland State Police was stabbed while answering a call for service involving the malicious destruction of property. Around 7 a.m., the trooper, a veteran of law enforcement with 5 years of experience, was dispatched to an address in Westminster. He had been called to the same address the previous day, also regarding the malicious destruction of property. The trooper arrived at the scene at 7:14 a.m. and began speaking with the complainant. At 7:50 a.m., the dispatcher received another report that a suspect in the same area was using a knife to slash tires on a vehicle. Already at the scene, the trooper encountered a subject armed with a knife with a 4.5-inch blade. According to witnesses, the trooper ordered the subject at least five times to drop the knife and attempted to de-escalate the situation for more than 3 minutes. The witnesses said the offender advanced toward the trooper and brandished the knife “like a ninja.” During the ensuing altercation, the trooper was stabbed once on the right side between the side panels of his body armor, sustaining injuries to his front upper torso/chest and rear upper torso/back. The trooper drew his service weapon and fired two rounds, striking the offender with both. The trooper and a witness who was a nurse rendered aid to the offender. He was later transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The trooper was also transported to the hospital, where he was treated and released. He has since returned to duty. Homicide investigators interviewed witnesses and reviewed surveillance video recorded at the time, which was consistent with the witnesses’ reports. They learned that the 34-year-old offender was suffering from a mental illness and was the subject of an emergency petition in 2018. He had no criminal history.
At 1:16 a.m. on November 30, a patrol officer with the Battle Creek Police Department was wounded while answering a call for service to check on the welfare of a citizen. The 33-year-old patrol officer and another officer were alerted to children shouting from a window of a residence. When the officers contacted the homeowner, she refused to allow officers to search the residence. The officers recognized a vehicle in the driveway that belonged to a 30-year-old violent offender wanted on a felony warrant. Known to be affiliated with a gang, the offender had a history of assaulting/threatening law enforcement officers. The officers positioned themselves nearby and observed the suspect leave the residence through a back door about 45 minutes later. The officer, a veteran of law enforcement with 11 years’ experience, caught the suspect after a foot pursuit through nearby backyards. As the officer prepared to handcuff the suspect, the homeowner—who was the suspect’s girlfriend—intervened and assaulted the officer, causing him to fall onto his back. This enabled the suspect, who was on his hands and knees, to retrieve a 9mm semiautomatic handgun from the waistband of his pants, rise, and discharge an unknown number of rounds at the officer while standing two feet away. Three rounds struck the officer: one round to the officer’s front upper torso/chest was stopped by the officer’s body armor, and the other rounds struck the officer in the front legs and the arms/hands. The officer drew his service weapon and fired 10 rounds at the offender while lying on his back. None of the rounds struck the offender. The offender fled and hid in another residence. Hours later, police found him hiding in a closet at that residence and arrested him. The offender was charged with Assault with Intent to Murder, Possess Firearm in Commission of Felony, Felon in Possession of Firearm, Resisting and Obstructing Officer, and Carrying a Concealed Weapon. The offender was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident and was known to use, deal, and possess drugs. He had a criminal history that included aggravated assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, domestic violence, a drug law violation, resisting arrest, robbery, a sex offense, and a weapons violation. As of the time this report was submitted to the FBI, the victim officer had not returned to duty.
A 48-year-old patrol officer with the Saginaw Township Police Department was severely injured during a traffic stop on January 22 at 2:09 a.m. in Kochville Township. The officer, a veteran with nearly 17 years of law enforcement experience, stopped a vehicle because the driver was not using headlights. Unknown to the officer, the driver had stolen the vehicle less than an hour earlier. The driver was wanted for escaping from a tether program and had multiple felony warrants for earlier motor vehicle and handgun thefts. Footage from the officer’s in-car dash camera showed the officer exited his patrol vehicle and approached the vehicle on the driver’s side. As the officer began speaking, the driver lifted a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun (which he had stolen 7 days earlier) from his lap where it was concealed. He thrust it at the officer’s face and fired two rounds. The first round struck the front of the officer’s head at close range, and the second struck his shoulder (upper torso) area outside the protective panel of his body armor. The offender immediately began to speed away as the officer drew his service weapon and fired two rounds, striking the tailgate of the stolen vehicle. The officer radioed dispatch and reported he’d been shot and gave a description of the suspect’s vehicle. A manhunt ensued until later that day when a detective with the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Department located the offender on a roadway in another stolen vehicle. The offender suddenly stopped the car, got out, and pointed a firearm at the detective. The detective fired multiple rounds, striking the offender in the chest and face. The 29-year-old offender was arrested and charged with one count each of Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, Felony Firearms Violation, Unlawful Driving Away in an Automobile, and Escape. His criminal history included charges for aggravated assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, and a sex offense. At the time this incident was reported to the FBI, the wounded patrol officer had not yet returned to duty.
Shortly before 9:30 a.m. on July 5, a 45-year-old deputy sheriff with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office was wounded while attempting to execute a warrant for the sale/manufacture of a controlled substance at a residence in Norwood. The veteran deputy, who had 10 years of law enforcement experience, and accompanying officers encountered a barricade the subject had placed in the road leading to the residence that forced them to approach on foot. The deputy and officers noticed the subject washing a vehicle at the residence as they approached. The subject heard the officers coming and, without warning, opened fire with an illegally modified .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun he produced from his waistband. One round struck the victim deputy, who was wearing body armor, in the front leg from 21 feet away. The deputy and officers returned fire, justifiably striking the offender multiple times. The offender did not seek cover and continued to fire at the officers until he succumbed to his injuries. The 58-year-old offender was on probation at the time of the incident, was known to possess a controlled substance, and had prior arrests for a drug law violation. The offender’s family suspected the incident was a suicide by cop based on comments the suspect had made about never going back to prison.
On August 8 at 11:28 a.m., a 25-year-old officer and a 24-year-old patrol officer with the Irvington Department of Public Safety were severely injured in an ambush situation. Each officer had a little more than one year of law enforcement experience. The officers were responding to a call for service involving shots fired and an injured person. Upon arrival at the scene, the officers found a single victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. A witness pointed out the residence where officers would find the suspect. The officers saw the suspect in the backyard, about 75 feet away from them. With weapons drawn, the officers ordered the suspect to show his hands. When the suspect turned toward the officers, they saw he was armed with an automatic rifle and was wearing a tactical vest. Without warning, the offender fired at the officers. Both officers, who were wearing body armor, returned fire, but their service weapons malfunctioned (stovepipe jam). Meanwhile, backup units had arrived, and the offender continued to shoot at all the officers on the scene. The officers returned fire, and seven rounds struck the offender justifiably killing him. The 25-year-old officer sustained injuries to his front and rear legs, and the 24-year-old patrol officer was wounded in his front legs and feet. Neither officer has returned to duty at the time this incident was reported to the FBI. The 39-year-old offender’s criminal history included previous arrests and convictions for assault on a law enforcement officer, a drug law violation, a weapons violation, and resisting arrest.