Too Many Cops Have Died in the Line of Duty This Year

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Since the start of 2018, at least 34 law enforcement officers across the U.S. have died while on duty — with 22 of the deaths caused by gunfire.

Roughly 135 cops died in 2016, making it the deadliest year for police officers in at least five years, Fox News has determined.

While there were fewer deaths in 2017, the numbers weren’t much better: A total of 129 officers died last year.

And 46 of those deaths were caused by gunfire.

Read on for a look at officers who have died in the line of duty so far this year.

Officer Jesus “Chuy” Cordova. Officer Jesus “Chuy” Cordova with the Nogales Police Department in Arizona died on April 27 after he was shot multiple times while attempting to pull over an armed carjacker.

The gunman, later identified as 28-year-old David Ernesto Murillo, jumped out of the car and opened fire, fatally wounding Cordova. “The community of Nogales will never be the same but we hope that this unity continues well into the future,” said Nogales Police Chief Roy Bermudez.

The officer served with the police department for roughly a year. Before that, however, the 44-year-old served with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office for a decade. He is survived by his fiance, who is pregnant, and his three children.

Officer Rogelio Santander. Dallas police Officer Rogelio Santander succumbed to his injuries and died after he was shot responding to an incident at Home Depot, Mayor Mike Rawlings said.

Santander and Officer Crystal Almeida, both with the department for three years, were shot on April 24 by 29-year-old suspect Armando Juarez, police said. Santander died a day later while Almeida, who was reportedly shot in the face, is still “fighting hard,” Dallas Police Association President Michael Mata told KDFW-TV.

A civilian was also injured in the shooting. The suspect is in police custody.

Corporal Eugene Cole. A sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot while he was responding to a robbery at a Maine convenience story on April 25, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office said.

Corporal Eugene Cole, 62, was with the department for 13 years. He has a son who is also with the department, police said.

The shooting happened around 1:14 a.m. at a Cumberland Farms store in Norridgewock, located about 30 miles north of the state capital of Augusta. “He was one of the finest deputies that you would want to meet,” Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said. The suspect is at large and considered armed and dangerous, police said.

Officer Tamby Yagan. Patterson, New Jersey police Officer Tamby Yagan crashed into a parked car on April 22 while on duty, killing the 41-year-old. The cause of the accident, including if Yagan suffered a medical emergency before the crash, is still being investigated, according to NorthJersey.com.

“He was a cop’s cop,” Police Director Jerry Speziale told the newspaper. “He’s somebody who went above and beyond. He was a true community person.”

Yagan was a member of the Patterson police force since 2005. Prior to that, he was a volunteer firefighter. He leaves behind a young son, according to local reports.

Deputy Sheriff Casey Shoemate. Deputy Sheriff Casey Shoemate was responding to a 911 call of a residential structure fire on April 20 when he was involved in a head-on collision.

The 26-year-old who worked for the Miller County Sheriff’s Office, about 30 miles south of Jefferson City, Missouri, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Kansas City Star.

Officials said Shoemate was attempting to pass a fire truck that did not have its emergency lights on in a no-passing area when he struck a Toyota 4Runner. Shoemate started working with the Miller County Sheriff’s Office in 2017, the department said.

“Casey was a wonderful man and our brother,” the department said. “The following days, weeks, months will be very difficult for us, but with the community support and prayers, we will get through this together.”

The driver of the other vehicle was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries.

Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey. While eating lunch at a restaurant in Trenton, Florida, Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, and Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey, 25, were fatally shot in what appeared to be an ambush on April 19.

Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz described the two officers as “the best of the best.” “They don’t need to be remembered strictly for their untimely death, but they need to be remembered for the type of people that they are,” he said. “And that’s good individuals, good deputy sheriffs.”

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Ramirez left behind a wife and two children, according to the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office.

The police department confirmed that “there was no crime in progress, no disturbance” prior to the shooting. The 59-year-old suspect, who was later found deceased outside of the restaurant, “appears to have walked to the front of the business and shot both men without warning.”

Officer Sean Gannon. Officer Sean Gannon with the Yarmouth Police Department in Massachusetts was shot and killed on April 12 while serving a warrant in Barnstable.

While searching the home, Gannon and his K-9 came across a man hiding in a closet, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. The suspected shooter opened fire and shot Gannon in the head. The officer’s K-9, Nero, was also injured in the incident.

The suspect was later identified as Tom Latanowich, 29, of Somerville, Massachusetts. Latanowich, who will be charged with murder, had 111 prior adult offenses and was on probation, according to authorities.

Gannon, 32, served with the Yarmouth Police Department for nearly eight years before his death.

Officer Keith Earle. Officer Keith Earle with the Huntsville Police Department in Alabama died on April 9. The officer succumbed to injuries sustained during an on-duty car accident in March, WHNT19-TV reported. He was on duty at the time of the incident.

“Eula and I are praying for the family of Officer Keith Earl and everyone in the Huntsville Police Department. We offer our deepest condolences as our community mourns his loss and remembers his service,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said in a statement after Earle’s death. The 46-year-old had served with the police department for 25 years.

Corporal Dale Hallman. Cpl. Dale Hallman of the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina died around 1 a.m. on April 6 in a single-vehicle crash.

Hallman was ejected from the vehicle. The corporal was taken to a local hospital but did not survive his injuries.

Hallman, who served with the sheriff’s office for five years before his death, was seriously injured when his patrol car went off the side of the road and overturned, according to a local news report. Hallman was ejected from the vehicle. The corporal was taken to a local hospital but did not survive his injuries.

Hallman was responding to a call from local deputies, who were chasing an armed man who was allegedly holding a child hostage. The deputies called for backup from Saluda’s Bloodhound Tracking Team, of which Hallman was a part of. Hallman’s K-9, Copper, was found at the scene and is expected to recover, according to The State.

The 30-year-old is survived by his wife, who is pregnant, and their two children. A GoFundMe has been started for the family.

Deputy Sheriff Ryan Zirkle. Deputy Sheriff Ryan Zirkle of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office in California was killed on March 15 while responding to a 911 hangup call regarding an alleged traffic accident.

Zirkle, 24, lost control of his vehicle, went off-road and struck a tree, ABC 7 reported. His partner later went searching for Zirkle and discovered him at the scene. Zirkle, who served with the sheriff’s office for over two years, was transported to a local hospital but later died. He is survived by his fiancée, two brothers and parents.

Officer Scotty Hamilton. Officer Scotty Hamilton of the Pikeville Police Department in Kentucky was fatally shot on March 13 while allegedly investigating a crime.

Hamilton was on duty at the time he was shot and killed. The CBS affiliate WLKY reported that the officer was working with a state trooper to investigate a reported crime in the Hurricane Creek area of Pike County when the shooting occurred.

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Authorities say they have someone connected to the shooting in custody, according to 13 WTHR. No further details have been released. Hamilton served with the police department for more than a decade. He leaves behind a wife and an infant daughter.

Deputy Sheriff David Lee “Sean” Manning. Deputy Sheriff David Manning of Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina was involved in a fatal car crash on March 11.

Manning was heading North on Highway 111 when he turned his car around to pursue an intoxicated driver, ABC 11 reported. As he did this, Manning lost control of his patrol car and crashed into an oncoming pickup truck. A man and his wife who were in the truck were hurt but did not have any life-threatening injuries, authorities said. Manning, however, died at the scene.

The driver who Manning was pursuing crashed into a nearby ditch, left his vehicle and ran away from scene, authorities said. He was later identified as 33-year-old Richard Howard Walters, who has since been arrested and charged with with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while impaired, according to CBS17. Three others in connection to Manning’s death were also arrested.

Manning, 24, served with the sheriff’s department for four months before he died. He is survived by his fiancée, daughter, parents and siblings.

Officer Greggory Casillas. Pomona, California police Officer Greggory Casillas, 30, was fatally shot March 9 after he and another officer chased a suspect who “barricaded himself in a bedroom” and “began firing through the door” as officers tried to contact him, Capt. Christopher Bergner of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told reporters. A second officer was injured, authorities said.

The confrontation led to a 15-hour standoff with authorities and ended with the suspect’s arrest March 10, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said. “For the last 15 hours, we attempted to make an arrest of this individual and just did so successfully minutes ago,” McDonnell said during a news conference.

The situation began when Pomona officers received a report of a “person driving recklessly,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. The suspect ultimately led police on a chase before crashing and fleeing on foot. The suspect then “ran into an apartment complex and the officers gave chase,” Capt. Christopher Bergner of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

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Dispatchers received a call of an “officer down,” at around 9:10 p.m. local time. Pomona police Chief Mike Olivieri said in a tweet that one officer had died and the other was in stable condition. “It is with a heavy heart that I must report that one officer did not survive,” the tweet said.

Officer Ryan Morton. Clinton, Missouri police Officer Ryan Morton was fatally shot and two other officers were injured as they responded to a 911 call at a home in Missouri.

The alleged shooter, later identified as James Waters, opened fire from inside the house when officers tried to apprehend the individual. The suspect was found dead inside the home. Since news of Morton’s death broke, authorities announced that Morton and the other officers were sent to the wrong house — about 15 miles away from where they were supposed to be.

“The 911 call that came in was somehow attached to that [Clinton] address,” Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe said, according to the Kansas City Star. Lowe said it was a “coincidence” the officers were directed to that address.

“It is tragic that happened. But the fact is they were in the act of committing crimes within that house,” Lowe said. “When (the officers) entered that house, they were doing what they needed to ensure no one was hurt and there wasn’t any other problems.” Lowe said the loss would greatly impact the “small department.”

“It’s a small department. It’s small enough that you know each individual officer and the community knows each individual officer, and it’s hard to put into words when you’re talking about an agency of this size, a community of this size where something tragic like this happened just seven months ago,” he said.

Morton, a 30-year-old Army veteran, was with the Clinton Police Department from February 2015 through January 2017, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He decided to return to the force after fellow officer Gary Michael was fatally shot at a traffic stop in August 2017.

Officer Rodney Smith. New to the Hickman Police Department in Kentucky, Officer Rodney Smith was killed after being swept away by flood waters while on duty. Smith, 45, reportedly contacted a dispatcher for help after his car was swept away by the floods. A witness saw Smith climb onto the top of his car before it was swept away, KFVS-TV reported.

People in the community remembered Smith as a funny man who made the town a better place, according to WPSD-TV. Smith leaves behind a wife and children.

Deputy Alexis “Thunder” Eagle Locklear. Scotland County Deputy Alexis Eagle Locklear was killed on March 1 when his vehicle crashed. Locklear was assisting another officer who was chasing a suspect.

The 24-year-old, who was nicknamed “Thunder,” was only with the police department since May 16, 2017, according to Sheriff Ralph Kersey.

“Deputy Locklear was loved, honored and respected,” Kersey said in a Facebook post. “He brought great joy and pleasure in our hearts and spirits in our time of having him as a brother in this family we like to call home, here at the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.” His patrol car number 143 will be retired, according to WBTW-TV.

Deputy Sheriff Jacob Pickett. Indiana sheriff’s deputy Jacob Pickett was fatally shot March 2 after attempting to apprehend a suspect in a foot chase, police said. The Boone County deputy was critically wounded while assisting in the chase and later died, Indiana State Police confirmed in a statement.

“Deputy Jacob Pickett made the ultimate sacrifice for his community this morning,” Sgt. John Perrine, a public information officer for the Indiana State Police, tweeted. “Rest easy, sir.”

Pickett, an Indiana native, had been in law enforcement for nearly eight years. He had been working as a K-9 handler, patrolling the streets with his loyal partner “Brick,” for the Boone County Sheriff’s Office for the past two years. He’s the first person killed in the line of duty from the department since 1935, police said.

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“Deputy Jacob Pickett and his family continue to selflessly serve even after his fatal wound by donating his organs,” state police said.

Officer Justin Billa. Alabama Police Officer Justin Billa was fatally shot on February 20 as he and other law enforcement officials responded to a woman’s murder.

After finding the slain woman, police identified her ex-husband, Robert Hollie, as a “person of interest.” Billa and other officers with the Mobile Police Department established a perimeter around Hollie’s house and asked him to come out, but he opened fire instead, Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said.

Billa was shot and later died at a hospital, according to Battiste. Hollie was also killed in the shooting, though it’s unclear if he shot himself or was struck by officers. Billa was named “Officer of the Month” in June 2016, and had only been on the force for two years. When he was given the award, his commanding officer praised his attention to detail and professionalism.

“We need to go back to helping people instead of just taking them to jail and creating bigger problems,” Billa told WALA-TV in July 2016. “That’s my idea of good policing, and I feel like that’s what the chief is working toward.”

Billa also said he spent time with his wife before he left for work every day. “She tells me she loves me every day before I leave for work. And I make sure I do the same.” Aside from his wife, Billa also left behind a young son.

Deputy Sheriff Kevin Stanton. Deputy Sheriff Kevin Stanton of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in Florida died when a semi-truck crashed into his patrol car.

When Stanton was driving to work around 5:15 a.m. on February 17, a semi-truck lost the treading on its tire. The treading then wrapped around the truck’s axle, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, according to Florida Today.

The truck then collided with Stanton’s patrol car. Stanton, 32, was on duty at the time of the crash. He served with the sheriff’s office for 10 and a half years before his death.

Officer Darren Weathers. Officer Darren Weathers of the Detroit Police Department was killed on Feb. 13 when his car crashed during a training exercise. Weathers was rushed to a local Michigan hospital, but later succumbed to his injuries. The 25-year-old officer, whose nickname in the police department was “Lucky,” was a “rising star,” Detroit Police Department Chief James Craig told Fox 2.

“It’s no surprise that Lucky quickly became one of the Detroit Police Department’s rising stars,” Craig said. Weathers, a military veteran, leaves behind a wife and daughter.

Commander Paul Bauer. Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer was fatally shot in the stairwell of a downtown building on February 13, law enforcement officials said.

Bauer, 53, had been on the police force for 31 years. He was attending a training at the Chicago Fire Department with other officials prior to the shooting.

Bauer spotted a man matching the radio description of an armed suspect and “engaged in an armed physical confrontation,” according to Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Officers had been chasing the suspect on foot.

Bauer, 53, had been on the police force for 31 years. He was attending a training at the Chicago Fire Department with other officials prior to the shooting.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Bauer’s death “a tragic reminder of the dangerous duty the men and women of our police department accept to ensure the safety of us all.” Police captured the suspect shortly after the shooting, and a gun was recovered at the scene, Johnson said.

Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering. Anthony Morelli, 54, and Eric Joering, 39, were shot February 10. Both men were officers with the Westerville Division of Police in Ohio, and had been “responding to a domestic 911 hang-up call,” Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said.

“Once on the scene, they made contact with the suspect and exchanged gunfire almost immediately,” he said. Joering died at the scene while Morelli died at a hospital, according to Morbitzer. Quentin Smith, 30, was named as the suspect in the case.

Officer Chase Maddox. Officer Chase Maddox, 26, of the Locust Grove Police Department in Georgia was shot and killed Feb. 9 in an incident which also left two deputies wounded.

The deputies were at a Locust Grove address to serve an arrest warrant for 39-year-old Tierre Guthrie, who was wanted for failing to appear in court for traffic violations, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has said.

“Guthrie became combative and escalated the situation,” the agency said. “LGPD Officer Chase Maddox arrived on scene to assist the deputies. A fight ensued resulting in Guthrie and the officers firing their weapons.”

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Guthrie died. An autopsy indicated Guthrie was shot four times, including twice in the chest, the GBI said. The agency said Maddox was shot three times, “with the fatal wound being to the head.” Maddox, who served with the police department for five years, left behind a young child and his wife, who is pregnant.

Officer David Sherrard. Officer David Sherrard, a 13-year veteran of the Richardson Police Department in Texas, was fatally shot on February 7 while responding to a disturbance call.

Sherrard, 37, was also a member of the police department’s SWAT team, the Richardson Police Department said in a Facebook post announcing the officer’s death. “He exemplified the professionalism, heroism, and strong character inherent in all Richardson police officers,” the police department said. The suspect was taken into custody after an hours-long standoff.

Police said a second person, identified as 30-year-old Rene Gamez, who lived at the apartment where the suspect barricaded himself before surrendering, also died in the shooting.

Deputy Sheriff Micah Flick. While investigating a car theft, Deputy Sheriff Micah Flick of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado was shot and killed on February 5.

A suspect allegedly opened fire on Flick, 34, and three other law enforcement officers in Colorado Springs as they attempted to take the suspect into custody. Along with the officers, a bystander was also shot, police said. The suspect died at the scene from return fire.

Flick, who served with the sheriff’s department for 11 years, was married with 7-year-old twins.

Police Officer Glenn Doss Jr. Police Officer Glenn Doss Jr., 25, was shot in the head and chest while responding to a domestic violence call on January 24. When Doss and other officers arrived, a man, identified as 43-year-old Decharlos Brooks, allegedly opened fire on police officers while they were still in their patrol car. Doss was shot in the incident.

Brooks was taken into custody and charged with eight counts of assault with intent to murder, seven counts of resisting and obstructing, one count of carrying a dangerous weapon and 17 counts of felony firearms. Doss, who was taken to a nearby Detroit hospital after he was shot, succumbed to his injuries on January 28.

He worked for the Detroit Police Department for two years and is survived by Emily Crouse, his girlfriend of nine years, their 9-month-old son, Eli, and his parents.

Deputy Heath Gumm. Deputy Heath Gumm of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance call on January 24.

Gumm, who served with the sheriff’s office for five years, was shot in the chest by the suspect he had been chasing on foot. The suspect now faces murder charges. The 32-year-old is survived by his wife and other family members.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher David Hill. Deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher David Hill, a husband, father of two children and a U.S Army veteran, served with the United States Marshals Service for 11 years before he was shot and killed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Hill, along with Middle Pennsylvania Fugitive Task Force members, was attempting to arrest a woman at a home on January 18 for reportedly making terror threats.

At the same time, a man inside the home opened fire on the task force. Hill was shot, as were two other task force officers, one of whom still was able to shoot and kill the gunman. Hill was taken to a local hospital but later died from his wounds. He was 45.

Detective Michael R. Doty. Detective Michael Doty of the York County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina was fatally shot on Jan. 16 while searching for a man who allegedly attacked his wife and then ran into a wooded area nearby.

Christian Thomas McCall, 47, allegedly shot Doty in an “ambush” attack. The detective was later taken to a hospital in North Carolina but died the next day. Three deputies and one K-9 officer also were injured at the time. Doty, 37, was a 12-year veteran of the sheriff’s office.

Deputy Sheriff Daniel A. McCartney. Deputy Sheriff Daniel A. McCartney, a Navy veteran, husband and a father to three sons, was fatally wounded while responding to a burglary on Jan. 7.

McCartney, 34, who worked for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office in Washington state, was the first officer on the scene. McCartney was shot while chasing after the suspect on foot. The sheriff later died in the early hours of Jan. 8 at a nearby hospital.

One suspect was found dead at the scene and a second suspect was arrested the next day. A third suspect, who was in a getaway vehicle, also was charged. McCartney served with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office for three years.

Officer Chris Beaudion. Officer Chris Beaudion, 26, served in the Monroe Police Department in Louisiana. He suffered fatal injuries when his patrol car struck a tree on January 7 around 3 a.m. Shortly after his death, the News Star reported that Beaudion, who was on duty at the time of the accident, veered left and crossed two lanes of traffic before hitting the tree. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The officer, who is survived by his wife, two children and parents, was with the police department for 17 months before the crash, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Lieutenant Christopher Robateau. Lieutenant Christopher Robateau of the New Jersey Police Department was killed on January 5. The 49-year-old, who was with the police department for 23 years, was struck by a vehicle while responding to an accident on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Robateau was married with three children.

This Fox News piece is used by permission. Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Travis Fedschun, Nicole Darrah, Katherine Lam and the Associated Press contributed.

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