Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 14, 2007

FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in 2006

Washington, D.C.—Preliminary statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicate that 48 law enforcement officers died in 2006 as a result of felonious line-of-duty attacks. Nearly half of the officers (22) were killed in the South; 11 officers were murdered in the West; 7 officers were slain in the Northeast; 6 were killed in the Midwest; and
2 officers were slain in the territory of Puerto Rico. The number of officers feloniously killed in the Nation was 7 fewer than those slain in the line of duty in 2005.

The 48 officer deaths occurred in 47 separate incidents. Forty-one of the 47 incidents were cleared by arrest or exceptional means. Of the officers killed, 12 were slain in arrest situations; 9 were ambushed; 9 were killed in traffic pursuits/stops; 8 were slain while answering disturbance calls; 6 were murdered while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances;
2 were killed in tactical situations (e.g., barricaded offender, hostage taking, etc.); 1 officer was slain while handling, transporting, or having custody of a prisoner(s); and 1 officer was slain while handling a mentally deranged person(s).

A breakdown of the data concerning the weapons used in the slaying of officers shows that firearms were the weapons most commonly used in these incidents. Of the 46 officers who were fatally wounded with firearms, 35 were killed with handguns, 8 were slain with rifles,
2 were killed with shotguns, and 1 officer was murdered with an unknown type of firearm. Two officers were killed with vehicles.

At the time of their murders, 26 officers were wearing body armor. During the fatal attacks, 11 victim officers fired their weapons, and 7 attempted to fire their weapons. Four of the slain officers’ weapons were stolen, and 1 officer was killed with his own weapon.

In addition to the officers who were feloniously killed, 66 officers lost their lives in the line of duty in 2006 as a result of accidents that occurred in 63 separate incidents. Of the
66 officers who were killed accidentally, 38 died as a result of automobile accidents, 11 officers were struck by vehicles, 8 were involved in motorcycle accidents, 4 were killed in accidental shootings, 3 were in aircraft accidents, and 2 officers died as a result of bicycle accidents.

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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