The percentage of suicide victims who force police officers to shoot them is increasing, reports the Detroit Free Press. About one out of every three times law enforcement officials fire their guns, it’s a suicide-by-cop. “All of a sudden, you hear it emerging that law enforcement across the country is dealing with it more often than ever before,” said Warren, Mi., Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer.
Unlike most suicides, this kind of death touches those on both ends of the gun. “It’s hard on an officer anytime they have to take a life,” Dwyer explained. “When they have to use their weapon, they’re trained to take a life. They’re not trained to wound a person.” A 2009 study by American and Canadian researchers found that 36 percent of officer-involved shootings from 90 North American police departments over 18 years were suicide-by-cop situations. Research in the Journal of Forensic Sciences found that 95 percent of suicide-by-cop cases were men. Sixteen percent were known to have tried taking their own lives before, 4 percent by attempted suicide-by-cop.