Ambush-Style Killings of Police Up 300% in First Half of Year

The killings of two police officers in the Des Moines metro area Wednesday are the latest examples of a concerning trend of ambush-style attacks on law enforcement this year.

The killings of two police officers in the Des Moines, IA, metro area Wednesday are the latest examples of a concerning trend of ambush-style attacks on law enforcement this year, reports USA Today.

The number of officers killed in such attacks spiked 300% in the first seven months of 2016 alone, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Through July 20, 14 officers were shot and killed in ambushes, the group said in a report released this summer. It's unclear how many other officers have been killed in such attacks since then. An ambush is generally referred to as an attack that takes place by surprise or from a concealed position.

On Wednesday, Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin and Des Moines police Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Beminio were shot and killed separately in their patrol cars while responding to reports of gunfire.

Overall, 115 officers have been killed in the line of duty so far in 2016, according to the group's updated fatality count Wednesday.

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