Ambush-style killings of police up 167% this year
The ambush-style killings of two police officers in the Des Moines area add to a deadly increase in a disturbing trend for law enforcement nationwide: the number of police officers gunned down has increased 167% this year, according to a law enforcement group.
It ties for the deadliest year for such attacks, matching 2014's 16 ambush-style killings.
In all, there have now been 40 officers shot and killed in ambushes since 2014, said Steve Groeninger, spokesperson for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks police fatalities.
Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin and Des Moines police Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Beminio were the latest fatalities. Both were gunned down separately in their patrol cars while responding to reports of gunfire early Wednesday.
A total of 115 officers have been killed in the line of duty in 2016, a 15% increase over last year. Additionally, 52 of those officers were killed by gunfire, a 58% increase, the Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit reported.
Overall, more officers have been shot and killed so far this year than during any full year since 2011, according to the fund.