Only 27 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty last year, a 44 percent drop from 49 the previous year, the FBI said today in a preliminary count. Seven officers were killed as a result of ambushes, four of them during unprovoked attacks and three due to entrapment/premeditated situations. Five officers died from injuries inflicted as a result of answering disturbance calls (three of which were domestic disturbances), and five officers were engaged in tactical situations.
Three officers were killed while they were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, three were conducting traffic pursuits or stops, and three officers were responding to robberies in progress or pursuing robbery suspects. One officer was killed as a result of an investigative activity. Offenders used firearms in 26 of the 27 felonious deaths. These included 19 incidents with handguns, five incidents with rifles, and two with shotguns. One victim was killed with a vehicle used as a weapon. Nineteen of the slain officers were wearing body armor. Six of the officers fired their own weapons, and three attempted to fire their service weapons. Two victim officers had their weapons stolen; one officer was killed with his own weapon.