Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 15, 2006

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in 2005

Washington, D.C. -- According to preliminary statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 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 5 in the Northeast. Two officers were slain in Puerto Rico. The total number of officers killed is 2 fewer than in 2004.

By circumstance, 15 deaths occurred while officers were handling traffic pursuits/stops, 8 died during arrest situations, 8 during ambush situations, 7 died responding to disturbance calls, 7 while investigating suspicious persons/circumstances, 4 while conducting investigative activities, 3 during tactical situations, 2 were killed by mentally deranged persons, and 1 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, 5 with shotguns, and 3 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 6 officers attempted to fire their weapons. Nine officers had their weapons stolen, and 6 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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