There was a 300 percent increase in the number of U.S. police officers killed as a result of ambush-style attacks in the first half of this year, says the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The report found that from January to July 20 this year, 14 police officers were shot and killed in ambushes, seven while stopping a suspicious person and five while “executing a tactical arrest or high-risk warrants,” reports USA Today. The numbers do not include the two officers who were shot and killed today in an apparent ambush in Des Moines. Both officers were gunned down in their patrol cars after responding to a report of gunfire.
On July 17, Afghan War veteran Micah Xavier killed five officers and injured nine others after ambushing them in Dallas. Ten days later, Gavin Long, who had an interest in black separatism issues, shot six officers, three of whom died, in Baton Rouge. The memorial fund says that on average one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty in the U.S. every 61 hours and that more than 20,000 police officers have lost their lives in the line of duty since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791. As of July 20, 67 law enforcement officers had died in the line of duty in 2016, a small increase over the 62 deaths for the same period in 2015.