FHS Press

18 officers shot to death in 2018 alone

These+are+all+of+the+officers+who+have+died+from+gunshot+wounds+so+far+in+the+year+2018.+
These are all of the officers who have died from gunshot wounds so far in the year 2018.

These are all of the officers who have died from gunshot wounds so far in the year 2018.

These are all of the officers who have died from gunshot wounds so far in the year 2018.

Jessica Palakovich, Editor-in-Chief (FHS-Press.com)

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Dec. 14, 2012, started off as a typical Friday in Newtown, Conn., but quickly turned into a tragedy that shocked the nation. That morning, a gunman fired upon and killed 26 children and staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, along with taking the life of his mother and himself.

Since this catastrophe, there have been around 239 school shootings that have resulted 438 people being shot, killing 138. More than 1,600 mass shootings later, over 1,800 people have been killed and 6,400 injured due to gun violence.

Without restrictions on weapons and law enforcement making sure these restrictions are carried out, the numbers will continue to grow. But what happens when there are no officers left who want to serve, due to the lack of safety to themselves?

Reasonably so, there is a concern of safety for the people whose job is to protect others. With the increase of shootings and threats in schools and other public places, it’s only natural to be scared to some degree of one’s personal safety. While there has always been a risk for these officers and that risk will never go away, there is opportunity for that risk to reduce significantly.

After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which resulted in 17 fatalities, former Officer Scot Peterson was branded by many, including President Donald Trump, as a coward for not attempting to stop the gunman. In his defense, no amount of training can fully prepare a person for the moment that they realize that the loud pops slicing through the air is the sound of gunshots ricocheting off lockers and walls, with the intent to kill innocent people, mainly children.

Besides being dissed for his lack of action at a national level, Peterson was suspended without pay by his boss, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. He ultimately resigned shortly thereafter.

As of March 15, there have been 18 officers shot to death while in the line of duty in 2018. The first occurred as early as Jan. 7.

The first was Deputy Sheriff Daniel McCartney died after he responded to a burglary in progress. McCartney was pursuing the suspect on foot when he opened fire on him. Besides serving as an officer for nine years, he was also a U.S. Navy veteran. Taking McCartney’s life, the gunman left his wife and three sons to grieve for his passing.

The most recent death caused by gunfire was Police Officer Scotty Hamilton. For 12 years, Hamilton had served with the Pikeville Police Department in Pike County, Ky. But on March 13, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Hamilton was shot and killed after responding to a call with a Kentucky State Police trooper. Although one suspect was caught, another is still at large. Hamilton left behind a wife and child.

After being transported to a local hospital, Casillas died from his wounds. The suspect had continued to barricade himself until he surrendered 15 hours later. The man was charged with Officer Casillas’ murder along with several counts of attempted murder of a police officer.

Out of all the officers who died due to gunshot wounds, the average years of service was about 11 years, with the most being 31 years and the least being a half. The ages of the officers were between 25 and 54 years.

These officers were real people with real families. Three of the officers were military veterans. One had a 9-month-old child. Another’s wife was expecting at the time of death and four days later, his second son was born. One had even been celebrating his 11-year anniversary of starting at the department he worked for on the day he died.

These men and women serving in law enforcement aren’t machines without emotions. They are bound make mistakes and get scared just like everyone else.  As threats to the police continue to skyrocket, it’s highly possible that they will lead to other resignations and deaths in the near future. But without any awareness to the amount of police deaths each year, nothing can be put into effect to reduce it.

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18 officers shot to death in 2018 alone