FBI preliminary stats show 61 percent increase in felonious officer deaths for 2016
By Jennifer Cruz
The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday released preliminary statistics for felonious, line-of-duty deaths of law enforcement officers in 2016.
Although the full report will not be available until later this year, preliminary statistics show 66 officers were intentionally killed in the line of duty in 56 separate incidents in 2016, compared with 41 officers in 2015, which reflects a 61 percent increase in felonious officer deaths for 2016.
In 62 of the 66 deaths, firearms were the weapon of choice. Handguns were used in 37 of the cases, followed by 24 incidents with rifles, and a single incident involving the assailant armed with a shotgun. Four officers were killed during an incident in which a vehicle was used as a weapon.
Only 14 of the 66 officers killed had a chance to fire their own weapons, although 10 of the officers attempted to fire but were unsuccessful. Three of the officers had their service weapons stolen during the deadly altercations, and one officer died after he was shot with his own gun.
The vast majority – 50 out of 66 – of the officers were wearing body armor when they were killed.
Across the country, the South saw the greatest number of law enforcement