Home LEOKA 2018 Resource Pages Summaries: Officers Feloniously Killed

Summaries: Officers Feloniously Killed

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Note:  Occasionally, the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Program is unable to publish summaries concerning some officers who are feloniously killed in the line of duty. These situations may stem from insufficient information, gag orders issued by the courts, or other unusual circumstances. Although a written summary of the deaths of five law enforcement officers who were killed in 2018 are not included in this publication, all available information is included where applicable in the data tables.

 

AL | AZ | CA | CO | FL | GA | HI | IL | IN | KS | KY | LA | ME | MD | MA

MI | MS | MO | NY | NC | OH | OK | PR | SC | TN | TX | UT | WA | WI

Alabama

Shortly before 11:30 p.m. on February 20, a 27-year-old patrol officer with the Mobile Police Department was shot and killed while answering a call for service. The incident began at 9:30 p.m. after a call to investigate a deceased female lying in a roadway who appeared to have suffered blunt force trauma to the back of her head. While at the scene, officers interviewed two people familiar with the deceased individual. It was reported that she left her home earlier in the evening to pick up her ex-husband for choir practice. Later, her car was spotted in her ex-husband’s driveway. A detective on scene requested additional officers to accompany him to the ex-husband’s residence. The detective met the 27-year-old officer and a second officer at the precinct; the three of them arrived at the ex-husband’s home at 11:23 p.m. They saw the deceased female’s car in the driveway, so they took positions of cover. The detective and the 27-year-old officer, who had more than 2 years of law enforcement experience, went to the rear of the home; the other officer took cover behind a tree in the front yard. The detective spoke via cell phone to other detectives who were still at the original scene and decided not to attempt to contact anyone inside the residence. The 27-year-old officer returned to his marked patrol vehicle, which was parked down the street, to retrieve his department-issued rifle. He then joined the officer who was positioned behind the tree at the front of the house. The officers briefly spoke about contacting their superior officers, as they had been requested to do. The 27-year-old officer radioed dispatch. Just as he ended his radio transmission, an individual inside the home fired at the officer from a distance of 45 feet with a .38-caliber revolver. The officer, who was wearing body armor, was struck once in the front of the head. He immediately fell to the ground and was unable to take any action. The officer behind the tree fired twice, but both rounds struck the home. The uninjured officer notified dispatchers of the situation. The suspect continued to fire his weapon intermittently as responding officers extracted the victim officer from the scene. In all, the 72-year-old suspect fired eight rounds. The victim officer was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly before midnight. Officers held their positions until SWAT personnel arrived. Attempts to negotiate with the suspect began at 12:40 a.m., but no contact was made. At approximately 2 a.m., SWAT members inserted a reconnaissance robot into the home. The robot located the suspect, who had committed suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. The suspect had a criminal history that included a violent crime. 

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Arizona

In Avondale, on July 25 at 10:17 p.m., a 24-year-old trooper with the Arizona Department of Public Safety was fatally injured and a 34-year-old trooper suffered a non-life-threatening injury while responding to a situation involving a suspicious person. The 34-year-old trooper, a 13-year veteran of law enforcement, was investigating a suspicious person who was allegedly throwing rocks at vehicles on a roadway. The veteran trooper attempted to restrain the subject, who resisted; the veteran trooper called for assistance. The 24-year-old trooper, who had 2 months of law enforcement experience, and his field training officer responded to the call. During the struggle, the subject gained control of the field training officer’s duty weapon, a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, and fired two rounds. One round fatally struck the 24-year-old trooper in the front upper torso/chest, entering through the armhole or shoulder area of his body armor. The other round struck the veteran trooper in the front upper torso/chest entering above his body armor. Officers arrested the subject and charged him with First-Degree Homicide, Aggravated Assault, Attempted First-Degree Assault, and Endangerment. At 11 p.m., the 24-year-old trooper was pronounced deceased. The 34-year-old trooper recovered from his injury and has since returned to duty. The 20-year-old subject was known to have a mental illness and was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident. 

*****

On April 27 at 2:43 p.m., a 44-year-old patrol officer with the Nogales Police Department (NPD) was shot and killed in an unprovoked attack while answering a call for service. Earlier in the day, a person called for a taxicab, intending to rob the driver and carjack the vehicle using a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle. Once he was seated in the taxicab, the suspect assembled the weapon in the back seat, then informed the driver he was being robbed. When the driver did not cooperate, the suspect fired a round through the floor of the vehicle. Consequently, the taxicab lost power, and the driver ran from the vehicle. The suspect exited the taxicab and used his weapon to stop a passing truck. When he reached through the open driver-side window to open the door, the driver rolled up the window, temporarily trapping the suspect’s arm. The suspect freed his arm, and the driver sped away. Then the suspect stopped a car and ordered the couple inside to get out of the vehicle. Shortly after that, the suspect sent a friend a video via social media, informing her that he had stolen a car from two elderly people. At 2:24 p.m., the suspect pulled into the parking lot of a local business to find another vehicle. He walked to a trailer court behind the parking lot and stole another car from a man there and drove away. Meanwhile, the Arizona Department of Public Safety dispatch had alerted law enforcement about a suspect wielding a firearm. The NPD veteran officer, who had 11 years of law enforcement experience, drove past the suspect, made a U-turn, activated his overhead emergency lights, and began following him. At 2:43 p.m., the suspect pulled into the parking lot of a market, exited the vehicle as it was still moving, and began firing at the officer’s patrol vehicle. The officer attempted to exit the vehicle, but the suspect used his body to slam the door and continued to fire through the window at the trapped officer. The officer was struck above his body armor in his neck/throat, front upper torso/chest, front lower torso/abdomen, arms, and hands. He subsequently died from his injuries. The suspect fled on foot and used his rifle to carjack another vehicle. He then drove to a house and attempted to kidnap the man who came to the door. However, the man told the suspect he had a child in the residence and could not leave, so the suspect stole the man’s vehicle instead. A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) agent passed the suspect, and after receiving an updated description of the suspect’s latest vehicle, turned around. The agent and two additional U.S. CBP units followed him to a trucking yard, where the suspect exited the vehicle, climbed over a fence, and hid under a mobile home. The 28-year-old suspect discharged the unspent cartridges, disassembled the weapon, and threw it out from underneath the residence. At approximately 3:28 p.m., he surrendered to officers and was taken into custody. He was charged with First-Degree Homicide, Aggravated Assault, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, and Endangerment. He had a criminal history that included a drug law violation.

*****

A deputy marshal with the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) in Phoenix lost his life in a shootout with a suspect known for violent tendencies and mental illness. On November 29 at 5:30 p.m. in Tucson, the deputy marshal, age 41, and other members of the USMS Violent Offender Task Force were attempting to execute a felony arrest warrant on a suspect for stalking a police officer. During the confrontation, the suspect fired six rounds at the task force using a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle that he had built himself. Two of the rounds struck and killed the deputy marshal, who had 3 years of law enforcement experience, mortally wounding him above his body armor in his front upper torso/chest. Assisting officers fired 26 rounds, none of which struck the suspect. The 26-year-0ld suspect had a criminal history that included resisting arrest. He was arrested and charged with First-Degree Murder of a Federal Officer.

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California

On February 6, a former deputy sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office died of injuries he received in an unprovoked attack on December 10, 1994, in Rowland Heights. The then 29-year-old veteran deputy, who had 7 years of law enforcement experience, made a felony traffic stop shortly before 6 p.m. and was in the process of handcuffing and placing the subject in his patrol vehicle, when a man on a skateboard approached from behind. As he neared the deputy, the skateboarder pulled out a .357-caliber revolver and held it to the back of the deputy’s head and ordered the deputy to release the arrestee. The skateboarder then shot the deputy, who was wearing body armor, in the back of the head. The arrestee exited the patrol vehicle and fled the scene in his own vehicle with the skateboarder. The 20-year-old alleged shooter, who had prior arrests for a drug law violation and was a known user of controlled substances, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a nearby town. The arrestee turned himself in to the Corona Police Department. He later pleaded guilty to the felony charge of Assault on a Peace Officer and received a 14-year prison term. The deputy sustained significant brain injuries, which led to his death in 2018 at the age of 53. 

*****

Just after 9 p.m. on March 9, a 30-year-old police officer with 6 months of law enforcement experience with the Pomona Police Department (PPD) was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance call that ultimately became a tactical situation. Earlier on the day of the incident, officers had responded to a domestic disturbance call, but by the time officers arrived, the subject of the call had left in his vehicle. Family members of the subject decided to pursue him in their vehicle. The resulting pursuit was reported by witnesses, and PPD officers unsuccessfully attempted a traffic stop. The subject fled to his residence where he barricaded himself in a bedroom. Officers arrived at the scene and conducted a protective sweep of the residence and determined that it was empty other than the subject, who had barricaded himself in his room. The victim officer, who was wearing body armor, approached the locked bedroom door using a ballistic shield. As the officer drew closer, the subject fired through the door with a .357-caliber revolver, fatally striking the victim officer in the front of the head just above the shield. Officers returned gunfire. The subject fired another round that ricocheted off the door and struck a 26-year-old PPD police officer in the side of the face, penetrating his cheek and lodging in his teeth. The wounded officer, who had more than 3 years of law enforcement experience and was also wearing body armor, was admitted to the hospital for treatment. After the victim officer and the wounded officer were extracted from the scene, members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Bureau responded and employed tear gas and explosive breeches to force the subject from the residence. The 38-year-old subject was known to have a prior mental illness and was under the influence of amphetamines/methamphetamines and on parole at the time of the incident. He was arrested and charged with Murder, Attempted Murder, Felon in Possession of Firearm, Prohibited to Own Ammunition, Hit and Run Causing Injury, Evading Law Enforcement Officers, and Disregarding Safety. The 26-year-old officer who was wounded during the incident has since returned to duty.

*****

On September 17 just after 1:50 p.m., a 27-year-old deputy sheriff working on behalf of the Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD) was killed and another deputy sheriff was wounded while answering a call for service. [RCPD police services are provided under contract by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD).] At 1:44 p.m., the SCSD communications center received a call from someone at an automotive parts store in Rancho Cordova regarding a disturbance involving a customer threatening store employees. Dispatch radioed the two deputies, who arrived on the scene simultaneously in separate patrol vehicles. Once inside the store, the deputies, who were both dressed in RCPD uniforms, attempted to speak to the suspect, but he ignored their questions and walked away from them. The deputies pursued him, but the suspect pulled a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun from the front area of his clothing and pointed it at the deputies and a store employee. The suspect shot the employee once in the back, then began shooting at the deputies. The 27-year-old deputy, who had 4 years of law enforcement experience and was wearing body armor at the time of the incident, attempted to move to cover, but the suspect pursued him, shooting two rounds from close range into the deputy’s rear upper torso/back and in the rear of his head. Meanwhile, the other deputy, who was 28 years old and had more than 3 years of law enforcement experience, fired at the suspect as he ran outside the building. The deputy took cover, reloaded her handgun, and continued to scan the area for the suspect. The suspect re-entered the building through a service door, flanking the deputy. The suspect and the deputy, who was also wearing body armor, again exchanged gunfire, during which the deputy was wounded in the arms/hands. The suspect, who was wounded in the left leg, fled the store. Responding deputies encountered the suspect as he was running along the road, so they exited their patrol vehicle and ordered him to stop. He refused and continued running. The deputies got back into their patrol vehicle and continued the pursuit as the suspect ran into a nearby parking lot. When the deputies spotted him again, they saw that he was carrying a firearm. They stopped and exited the patrol vehicle, and the suspect began firing at them. The deputies returned gunfire, and the suspect sustained a wound to the back, falling to the ground. The suspect was taken into custody and transported to an area hospital, where he received treatment for his injuries. While these events were transpiring, the 28-year-old deputy began rendering first aid to the severely injured 27-year-old deputy at the automotive parts store. Personnel from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department arrived and continued life-saving efforts, but the deputy succumbed to his head injury. The 28-year-old deputy was admitted to the hospital for treatment of her injuries and had not returned to duty at the time this report was submitted to the FBI. The 38-year-old suspect was on probation at the time of the incident and was known to law enforcement as being a user of a controlled substance with a history of violence and mental illness. He was charged with Murder, Attempted Murder, and Felon/Addict in Possession of a Firearm. His criminal history included arrests for assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, a weapons violation, and a drug law violation. 

*****

A 33-year-old corporal with the Newman Police Department was killed just before 1 a.m. on December 26 while conducting a traffic stop involving a person suspected of driving under the influence. Shortly before the traffic stop, a citizen informed the corporal about encountering a driver who was possibly intoxicated leaving a liquor store. The corporal responded to the area and observed a truck matching the description given by the complainant driving down a major street in Newman. The corporal, a veteran of law enforcement with nearly 9 years of experience, conducted a traffic stop and reported his position to the radio dispatcher. The corporal approached the truck on the driver’s side and spoke to the driver, the sole occupant, who indicated he did not speak English. The corporal requested a backup unit and a Spanish translator via radio. As the corporal walked away from the truck, the driver, who was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, fired at the corporal with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun at close range, circumventing his body armor twice. One round struck the corporal in the left upper forearm and entered through the shoulder area of his body armor into his front upper torso/chest, wounding him. The victim corporal retreated to the rear of the truck while the offender fired four more rounds, striking the corporal in the side of his head, rear upper torso/back, and rear lower torso/back. The victim corporal fired two rounds from his .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun while fleeing from the gunfire, one round struck the truck, then his weapon malfunctioned. The victim corporal radioed that he had been shot and needed assistance. He died from his wounds that day. After the shooting, the offender fled. He had a previous arrest for driving under the influence. The 31-year-old offender, a citizen of Mexico, was arrested on December 28 and charged with Murder.

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Colorado

Shortly after 7 p.m. on January 24, a senior deputy with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office was shot and killed while pursuing a suspect in response to a burglary in progress call in Thornton. The 31-year-old deputy, a veteran of law enforcement with 7 years’ experience, observed a male matching the description of one of the suspects. When the deputy attempted to establish contact with the suspect, the suspect fled. The deputy aired over the radio that he was on foot pursuit and that another deputy was assisting. While running, they observed the suspect reach for his waistband, and the deputy announced they were police and ordered him to stop. The officers lost sight of the suspect as he turned a corner. As the officers searched the area, the 22-year-old suspect opened fire from a concealed location with a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, and the victim deputy was shot in the front legs/feet and fatally in the front upper torso/chest when the bullet entered through the armhole/shoulder area of his body armor. The victim deputy was able to return gunfire with four rounds and the assisting officer fired three rounds before his weapon malfunctioned. The suspect—who had a criminal history that included charges for weapon and drug law violations, assault on a law enforcement officer, and a violent crime—fled the area but was located and apprehended a block away. He was charged with First-Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, First-Degree Murder, Felony Murder, and First-Degree Burglary.

*****

A 34-year-old senior deputy with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office was killed, and three additional law enforcement officers were injured, while attempting to restrain and control a suspect during an investigative activity shortly before 4 p.m. on February 5 in Colorado Springs. The deputy, an 11-year veteran of law enforcement, was part of a multiagency motor vehicle theft task force. Earlier that afternoon, the task force was notified of a stolen vehicle that had been spotted in several areas throughout El Paso County. Task force members found the vehicle at an apartment complex, even though the suspect stopped at several locations and spray painted it in an attempt to disguise it. Members of the task force identified the suspect alone in the parking lot. The 34-year-old deputy and a 29-year-old deputy approached the suspect as he walked to the stolen vehicle. The two deputies grabbed the suspect and attempted to take him into custody. The suspect pulled out a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and shot the 29-year-old deputy once in the front lower torso/abdomen below his body armor. The suspect wrestled with the 34-year-old deputy and continued firing his weapon, fatally striking him in the rear upper torso/back and the front upper torso/chest above his body armor. A 45-year-old sergeant with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and a 44-year-old detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department, both members of the task force and also wearing body armor, exchanged gunfire with the suspect. Both the sergeant and detective were injured. Despite his injuries, the detective returned gunfire striking the 19-year-old suspect in the front upper torso/chest, justifiably killing him. The suspect had previous arrests for a drug law violation and theft and was a known or suspected gang member. The sergeant, a 16-year veteran of law enforcement, recovered from minor injuries to his rear below the waist/buttocks and rear legs and has returned to duty. The 29-year-old deputy, an 8-year veteran of law enforcement, suffered severe wounds to the front lower torso/abdomen. The detective, a 21-year veteran of law enforcement, sustained severe injuries to the front below waist/groin area. Neither the 29-year-old deputy nor the detective has returned to duty. A bystander was also struck and paralyzed by a round fired by the suspect.

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Florida

On April 19 at 3:01 p.m., two officers with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office were feloniously killed in an ambush (entrapment/premeditation) in Trenton. A 25-year-old deputy sheriff and a 29-year-old sergeant were on their meal break at a local restaurant when a subject entered the establishment armed with a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle, which was concealed at his right side. Without warning, the subject fired 14 rounds, striking each officer seven times as they sat waiting for their orders. The veteran deputy, who had 5 years of law enforcement experience, was struck in the front upper torso/chest, front legs/feet, and fatally in the front of his head. The sergeant, a law enforcement veteran with 7 years of experience, was struck in the side of his head, front upper torso/chest, arms/hands, and fatally in the front of his head. The body armor of each officer was circumvented when rounds entered between the vests’ side panels. The 59-year-old subject returned to his vehicle where he fatally shot himself in the head with a 9 mm handgun before responding units arrived. His criminal history included an arrest for a weapons violation.

*****

A 40-year-old deputy sheriff with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office was fatally wounded on May 6 at 7:35 p.m. while answering a call for service. The deputy, who was a field training officer, and a trainee responded to a complainant in Lake Placid, who reported that her cat had been shot. The complainant told the officer the name of a neighbor whom she suspected of the shooting. The deputy advised the trainee to stay with the complainant while he walked to the individual’s residence. The veteran deputy, who had more than 9 years of law enforcement experience, spoke with the individual and radioed his personal information to the dispatch center. The dispatcher informed the deputy the individual was on probation for a previous felony. The deputy asked the dispatcher to contact the probation officer and connect their telephones. At this point, the dispatcher lost contact with the deputy, and the trainee reported hearing five to seven muffled shots. Responding officers encountered the suspect in his garage with his vehicle’s engine running, in the process of leaving the scene. Officers took the suspect into custody and located the injured deputy, who had been struck at close range by four rounds to the front and side of his head above his body armor. Officers believe the suspect came to the door armed with a .22-caliber revolver and fired a fatal shot to the side of the deputy’s head and three rounds after the deputy was incapacitated. Two additional rounds went through the screen door. The deputy succumbed to his wounds on May 7. The 69-year-old suspect was charged with First-Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer and Second-Degree Possession of a Weapon by a Convicted Felon. His criminal history included prior arrests for assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, a weapons violation, and a violent crime.

*****

A 29-year-old police officer with the Fort Myers Police Department (FMPD) was fatally wounded on July 21 while responding to a call for service. The incident began at 7:16 p.m. when a complainant called 911 to report a suspect who provoked an altercation with three young men filling their vehicle’s fuel tank at a gas station. Five officers answered the call for service. The 29-year-old officer spoke with the complainant, who explained that two of the men were “minding their own business,” when the suspect approached the man in the front passenger seat in an aggressive manner, yelling at him. One of the vehicle’s occupants was inside the convenience store. When he returned to the vehicle, he attempted to pull the suspect away from his companion. The suspect lunged into the vehicle, stole a cell phone from inside, and fled across the street. The three young men returned to their vehicle and left the parking lot in search of the suspect. After speaking with the complainant, all of the officers left the gas station to search the area for the suspect. At approximately 7:29 p.m., a lieutenant located the suspect and was joined by the 29-year-old officer, who had nearly 3 years of law enforcement experience and was wearing body armor. The officer’s body camera recorded the suspect face down on the ground with a silver cell phone beside him. Both the lieutenant and the officer repeatedly told the suspect to stand up and speak with them, but he would not comply. At that point, one of the three men initially involved in the altercation at the gas station drove up with his brother, parked alongside the officers, got out, and spoke with the officers. The suspect got up and lunged toward the vehicle, prompting one of the two men to move toward the suspect in an attempt to keep him from entering the vehicle. The suspect turned and ran north. The officer pursued him. When the officer caught up with the suspect, the suspect slowed his pace, turned around, and struck the officer, knocking him to the ground. While the officer was on the ground, the suspect hovered over him, hitting him again before pulling the officer’s duty weapon from his holster, and firing six rounds from the .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun. One round struck the off