Officer deaths by gunfire: 10 times more in 2016

Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 20:20:45-05

The number of officers killed by gunfire is up 10 times more when compared to the same period last year, according to the Officer Down Memorial page, which tracks police deaths across the country. 

A total of ten officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty during the first two months of 2016. In January and February of 2015, no officers were shot and killed.

Two of the officers killed so far this year were from Colorado.

RELATED: 14 officers shot in Colorado in the past 3 months

Park County Corporal Nate Carrigan was killed by a suspect while serving a high-risk eviction notice on Wednesday. Two other deputies were injured in the shootout.

Two days earlier, a suspect shot Denver Police Officer Rachel Eid in the foot during a burglary on Monday.

Earlier this month, in Mesa County, deputy Derek Geer was shot and killed by a 17-year-old suspect.

Dr. Ron Martinelli is a forensic criminologist and police expert who has worked as a consultant for the City of Denver.

He called the increase in officer gunfire deaths 'significant.'

"Explain to me why we're seeing so many officer involved shootings," asked Denver7 Reporter Jennifer Kovaleski.

"There has been just an amazing increase in officer-involved shootings, where suspects have shot and killed officers," said Dr. Martinelli. "There is definitely an increase of resistive and violent behavior against police officers."

Dr. Martinelli blames several factors for the increase including mental health and the negative perceptions of police.

"We need to deal with the core issues that create this violent environment, and we need to look at this multi-phased instead of politically," he said.

Dr. Martinelli also said officers need more training to deal with these more violent suspects. 


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