WASHINGTON, DC (press release)—According to statistics collected by the FBI, 96 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2014. Of these, 51 died as a result of felonious acts and 45 died in accidents. In addition, 48,315 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults. The 2014 edition of “Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted,” includes comprehensive data tables about these incidents, brief narratives describing the fatal attacks, and narratives regarding selected assaults resulting in injury.
The 51 felonious deaths occurred in 24 states and in Puerto Rico. The number of officers killed as a result of criminal acts in 2014 increased by 24 when compared with the number who were feloniously killed in 2013 (27 officers). The five- and 10-year comparisons show a decrease of five felonious deaths compared with the 2010 figure (56 officers) and a decrease of four deaths compared with 2005 data (55 officers).
Officer Profiles: The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed was 39 years. The victim officers had served in law enforcement for an average of 13 years at the time of the fatal incidents. All 51 officers were male. Forty-seven of the officers were white, two were black, and two were Asian/Pacific Islander.
Circumstances: Of the 51 officers feloniously killed, 11 were killed while answering disturbance calls, nine were conducting traffic pursuits/stops, seven were ambushed, seven were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, five were conducting investigative activities (such as surveillances, searches, or interviews), four were killed in arrest situations, four were involved in tactical situations, and three were handling persons with mental illnesses. One officer was killed in an unprovoked attack.
Weapons: Offenders used firearms to kill 46 of the 51 victim officers. Of these 46 officers, 33 were slain with handguns, 10 with rifles, and three with shotguns. Four officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons, and one was killed with personal weapons such as hands, fists, or feet.
Regions: Seventeen of the felonious deaths occurred in the South, 14 in the West, eight in the Midwest, eight in the Northeast, and four in Puerto Rico.
Suspects: Law enforcement agencies identified 59 alleged assailants in connection with the felonious line-of-duty deaths. Fifty of the assailants had prior criminal arrests, and 11 of the offenders were under judicial supervision at the time of the felonious incidents.
Forty-five law enforcement officers were killed accidentally while performing their duties in 2014. The number of accidental line-of-duty deaths decreased by four from the 2013 total (49 officers). The five- and 10-year comparisons show a decrease of 27 accidental deaths compared with the 2010 figure (72 officers) and a decrease of 22 compared with 2005 data (67 officers).
Officer Profiles: The average age of the officers who were accidentally killed was 39 years; the average number of years the victim officers had served in law enforcement was 10. Of the 45 officers accidentally killed, 42 were male, and three were female. Forty-three of the officers were white, and two were Asian/Pacific Islander.
Circumstances: Of the 45 officers accidentally killed, 28 died as a result of automobile accidents, six were struck by vehicles, six officers died in motorcycle accidents, two were accidentally shot, one drowned, and two officers died in other types of duty-related accidents. Seatbelt usage was reported for 25 of the 28 officers killed in automobile accidents. Of these 25 officers, 15 were wearing seatbelts at the times of the accidents.
Regions: Nineteen of the accidental deaths occurred in the South, 13 in the West, 8 in the Northeast, 4 in the Midwest, and one in Puerto Rico.
In 2014, of the 48,315 officers assaulted while performing their duties, 28.3 percent were injured. The largest percentage of victim officers (30.8 percent) were assaulted while responding to disturbance calls. Assailants used personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) in 79.9 percent of the incidents, firearms in 4.0 percent of the incidents, and knives or other cutting instruments in 2.0 percent of the incidents. Other types of dangerous weapons were used in 14.1 percent of assaults.