Sunday’s shooting deaths of four police officers in suburban Seattle is the fifth such attack on law enforcement this year, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Overall, 15 officers have been killed in multiple-shootings incidents, up from four in 2008 and the most since 2000. Meanwhile, 44 officers total have been shot and killed in 2009, compared with 37 during the period last year – an increase of 19 percent.
This comes as police fatalities overall have dropped – from 122 on this date in 2008 to 113 this year, says the Naitonal Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The decline is the result of a drop in traffic accidents, which is the largest cause of officer death, says fund spokesman Kevin Morison. Still, this year’s number of police shot and killed is a dramatic drop from 2007, when 68 officers were shot and killed in the line of duty.