FBI: 55 Officers Killed in 2005

WASHINGTON – According to preliminary statistics released May 15 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 55 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty during 2005.

Geographically, 28 of the victim officers were killed in the South, followed by 10 in the Midwest, 10 in the West, and five in the Northeast. Two officers were slain in Puerto Rico. The total number of officers killed is two fewer than in 2004.

By circumstance, 15 deaths occurred while officers were handling traffic pursuits/stops, eight died during arrest situations, eight during ambush situations, seven died responding to disturbance calls, seven while investigating suspicious persons/circumstances, four while conducting investigative activities, three during tactical situations, two were killed by mentally deranged persons, and one while handling and transporting prisoners.

A breakdown of weapons used in these slayings revealed that firearms were used in the majority of incidents. Of the 50 officers killed with firearms, 42 were killed with handguns, five with shotguns and three were shot with a rifle. Five officers were killed with vehicles.

At the time they were killed, 34 law enforcement officers were wearing body armor. Fifteen of the slain law enforcement officers fired their own weapons, and six officers attempted to fire their weapons. Nine officers had their weapons stolen, and six officers were killed with their own weapons.

There were 53 separate incidents in 2005 which resulted in the deaths of the 55 law enforcement officers. All 53 incidents have been cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

In addition to the officers who were feloniously killed, 67 law enforcement officers were accidentally killed while performing their duties in 2005. This number is 15 fewer than the previous year’s number.

The FBI will release final statistics in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s annual publication Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, which will be published on the Internet in the fall of this year.

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