Officers Feloniously Killed
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This page provides information about duly sworn law enforcement officers (who met certain other criteria such as having full arrest powers, ordinarily carrying a badge and gun, etc.) who were killed in the line of duty during 2009. These officers came from city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal agencies.
- In 2009, 48 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty.
- Thirty-two of the slain officers were employed by city police departments. Of these, nearly half (15) were with law enforcement agencies in cities with 250,000 or more inhabitants.
- Line-of-duty deaths occurred in 18 states and Puerto Rico. Twenty-one officers lost their lives in the South. Thirteen of the officers died in the West, 7 died in the Northeast, and 5 officers who were feloniously slain were employed in the Midwest.
More information about these topics (including annual totals from 2000 to 2009) is provided in Tables 1, 2, 15, 16, 21, 22, 28, 29, and 30.
- The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed in 2009 was 38 years.
- The slain officers’ average length of law enforcement service was 12 years.
- Of the 48 officers slain in 2009, 47 were male and 1 was female.
- Forty-two of the victim officers were white, 3 were black, 2 were American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 1 officer was Asian/Pacific Islander.
More information about these topics is provided in Tables 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.
- 15 officers died in ambush situations.
- 8 officers died from felonious attacks during arrest situations.
- 8 officers died during traffic pursuits/stops.
- 6 officers died answering disturbance calls.
- 5 officers died during tactical situations (barricaded offender, hostage taking, etc.).
- 4 officers died while investigating suspicious persons/circumstances.
- 2 officers were killed while transporting or maintaining custody of prisoners.
More information about this topic (including a breakdown of the types of circumstances in which officers were feloniously killed) is provided in Tables 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 31, 32, and 33.
- 35 officers who were slain in 2009 were assigned to vehicle patrol.
- 2 of the slain officers were off duty but were acting in an official capacity.
- 11 officers were assigned to other duties, such as special assignments or undercover, when they were murdered.
More information about this topic is provided in Tables 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, and 26.
- Most officers slain in 2009 (45 of the 48) were killed with firearms. Of those killed with firearms, 28 were killed with handguns. (A breakdown of the types of weapons used in these slayings is provided in Table 27.)
- 2 officers were killed with their own weapons.
- 9 officers attempted to use their weapons; 12 officers fired their weapons.
- 19 officers were slain with firearms when they were 0-5 feet from the offenders.
More information about this topic is provided in Tables 12, 13, 14, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36.
- Most of the officers feloniously killed in 2009 (36 of the 48 officers) were wearing body armor at the time of their murders.
- Of the 33 officers who were wearing body armor and killed with firearms:
- 12 suffered wounds to the front of the head.
- 7 were wounded in the front upper torso.
- 6 were shot in the neck/throat.
- 5 were shot in the side of the head.
- 2 were shot in the rear of the head.
- 1 officer was shot in the back.
More information about this topic (including annual totals from 2000 to 2009) is provided in Tables 37, 38, 39, 40, and 41.
Months, days, and times of incidents
- More officers (8) died from felonious assaults that occurred in April than in any other month.
- 13 officers were involved in fatal assaults that occurred on Saturday, more than on any other day of the week.
- More officers (13) were fatally injured in assaults that happened from 8:01 p.m. to midnight than at any other time period.
More information about these topics (including annual totals from 2000 to 2009) is provided in Tables 3, 4, 5, 17, and 18.
Profile of alleged known assailants
In 2009, 41 alleged offenders were identified in connection with the 48 law enforcement officers feloniously killed. Of those offenders, the following characteristics are known:
- The average age of the alleged offenders was 32 years old.
- The average height was 5 feet 10 inches tall, and the average weight was 181 pounds.
- 39 of the alleged offenders were male; 2 were female.
- 24 of the alleged offenders were white and 17 were black.
- 33 of the 41 offenders had prior criminal arrests.
- 13 of the alleged offenders were under judicial supervision at the time of the incidents.
- 2 of the alleged offenders were intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol at the time of the fatal incidents.
More information about these topics is provided in Tables 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, and 47.
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