A deadly year for law enforcement just got a lot worse these past few days when five officers were shot, two of them fatally. The shootings occurred in four different states and at least three of the incidents appear to have been cold-blooded ambush-style attacks.
On Friday, November 18, Deputy Commander Patrick Carothers, a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service, was shot and killed in Georgia while attempting to arrest a man wanted for attempted murder of police officers, domestic violence and other crimes. The assailant was shot and killed by other officers.
On Sunday, November 20:
* San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi was shot and killed in an ambush attack as he sat in his patrol vehicle writing a traffic citation. The assailant was seemingly uninvolved in the traffic stop. He pulled his vehicle up behind the officer, got out of his car and shot the officer twice in what appears to be a brutal assassination. The assailant is still at large.
* A 20-year St. Louis police veteran was sitting in his patrol vehicle in traffic when another car pulled up and the occupant opened fire, hitting the officer in the face and critically injuring him. The assailant was later shot and killed by police.
* A Sanibel (FL) police officer was shot while sitting in his marked patrol car during a traffic stop when a drive-by shooter opened fire. The officer was treated and released from a hospital and the suspect was arrested.
* A Gladstone (MO) police officer was shot and wounded during a foot pursuit with a fleeing criminal suspect, who was later shot and killed by police.
These are just the latest incidents involving violent and, in a growing number of cases, targeted attacks against our law enforcement professionals. Already this year, 127 officers have died in the line of duty nationwide based on preliminary information, including 60 killed by gunfire, which is a 67 percent increase over the same time last year. Ten of those officers were fatally shot this month alone. More officers have been shot and killed this year than during any full year since 2011.
The number of officers shot and killed in ambush attacks this year now totals 20, which is the highest total since 1995. This is part of a growing and alarming trend that has seen 44 officers gunned down in fatal ambush shootings since 2014.
Clearly, our officers are facing horrendous and growing risks while serving and protecting our communities. It is time for all elected officials, the media and law abiding citizens everywhere to stand in solidarity with our law enforcement professionals and condemn and confront those who are directing violence and hate toward them.
About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund built and now operates and maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 20,789 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now building the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.