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FBI statistics show a decrease during 2015 in the number of officers killed in the line of duty due to a criminal act. However, the south had the highest number of deaths and nearly half of the southern cases happened Louisiana.
In 2015, 41 law enforcement officers across the nation were feloniously killed in the line of duty, which is a 20 percent decrease from 2014. Statics show that 38 died during incidents involving firearms and three were killed with vehicles used as weapons.
Of those 41 killed, 19 died as a result of criminal acts that happened in the south.
"Thirty of the 41 killed officers were confirmed to be wearing body armor at the times of the incidents. Six of the 41 slain officers fired their own weapons, and six officers attempted to fire their service weapons. Three victim officers had their weapons stolen; three officers were killed with their own weapons," reads an FBI press release.
Of the cases that happened in the south, nearly half happened in Louisiana.
Eight law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in Louisiana during 2015. They include:
- Deputy Josie Wells, 27: US Marshal killed during a shooting in Baton Rouge, La;
- Officer Juandre Gilliam, 22: Police officer killed during a vehicle crash in Jeanerette, La;
- Officer James Bennett, Jr, 45: Police officer killed during a shooting in New Orleans, La;
- Officer Daryle Holloway, 46, Police Officer killed during a shooting in New Orleans, La;
- Officer Vernell Brown, Jr, 47, Police Officer killed during a crash in New Orleans, La;
- Officer Thomas LaValley, 29, Police Officer killed during a shooting in Shreveport, La;
- Trooper Steven Vincent, 43, State Police Trooper killed during a shooting in Lake Charles, La;
- Officer Henry Nelson Jr, 51, Police Officer killed during a shooting in Sunset, La.
+NOTE: The press release from the FBI does not indicate whether the two Louisiana officers killed during vehicle crashes are included in the list of 41 officers. However, both crashes were considered to be criminal when they were first reported. The final report will not be available until Fall 2016.