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In first 15 weeks of year, 15 police officers have been shot to death in line of duty


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Officer Joseph Shinners | Provo Police Department

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(CNN) — We’re 15 weeks into 2019, and so far 15 officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty across the country.

That’s a decline from last year. Firearm-related deaths for officers are about 25% below what they were at this time in 2018, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

But to those affected, it’s little comfort.

“Even one death is too many,” NLEOMF spokesman Steve Groeninger told CNN. “Every number represents a shattered family, a shattered department and a community that is grieving.”

Here’s a list of the officers who have been gunned down while on duty in the US so far in 2019.

The parameters CNN followed in this count are:

  • The officer was fatally shot this year
  • The officer was on duty at the time of the shooting

April 13
Cowlitz County (Washington) Deputy Sheriff Justin DeRosier

Deputy DeRosier was responding to a disabled vehicle when he was shot. He was flown to a hospital in Vancouver, Washington, where he died. DeRosier left behind a wife and a 6-month-old daughter. It was the first officer death in the 165-year-old history of the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office.

March 24
El Paso County (Texas) Deputy Sheriff Peter Herrera

Deputy Herrera was shot after pulling over a vehicle during a traffic stop. Officials said the suspect fired his gun 15 times before he and his girlfriend fled on foot and were captured in a nearby shed, according to CNN affiliate KVIA.

March 19
Kittitas County (Washington) Deputy Sheriff Ryan Thompson

Deputy Thompson was responding to a complaint about a motorist and attempted to stop the vehicle. But the driver wouldn’t stop and officers took off after him. After he eventually pulled over, the motorist got out of the car and opened fire on the officers. Both Thompson and the driver were killed in the ensuing shootout.

March 7
McHenry County (Illinois) Deputy Sheriff Jacob Keltner

Deputy Sheriff Kelter was working with members of the US Marshals Service to serve an arrest warrant to a man staying at a hotel. The suspect shot at the officers with a rifle from inside a hotel room before jumping out of a window and again opening fire on the officers. Kelter was struck and later succumbed to his gunshot wounds at a nearby hospital, the NLEOMF reports.

March 5
Midland (Texas) Police Officer Nathan Heidelberg

Officer Heidelberg and other officers were responding to a burglar alarm at a residence when the homeowner shot him, believing the officers were the burglars, the NLEOMF reports.

February 26
Sullivan County (Tennessee) Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Hinkle

Sgt. Hinkle was with deputies walking up to a house for a welfare check when a man inside opened fire. Hinkle was hit and died three days later from the wounds he sustained, according to news reports.

February 16
Puerto Rico Police Agent Alfred Zanyet-Pérez

Alfred Zanyet-Pérez

Agent Zanyet-Pérez was shot and killed during an undercover operation in Puerto Rico. He was at a store and was gunned down in a drive-by shooting.

February 12
NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen

Detective Simonsen was killed by friendly fire while he and another officer were responding to a robbery in progress at a cell phone store in the Queens borough of New York.

February 6
Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner

Officer Rittner was shot and killed as he carried out a search warrant for drug and gun sales on Milwaukee’s south side.

February 4
Virginia State Trooper Lucas B. Dowell

Trooper Dowell was killed in a shootout while carrying out a drug-related search warrant just outside of Farmville, Virginia.

February 2
Clermont County (Ohio) Det. Bill Brewer

Det. Brewer was shot and killed during a 12-hour standoff with a suicidal man who had barricaded himself in an apartment outside of Cincinnati.

January 20
Mobile (Alabama) Police Officer Sean Tuder

Officer Tuder was shot and killed at a hotel as he led a team of officers searching for a 19-year-old suspect accused in a series of car break-ins. Police have charged his suspected killer with capital murder.

January 13
Birmingham (Alabama) Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter

Sgt. Carter was shot and killed outside a bar and another officer was critically wounded as they responded to a report about car break-ins.

January 10
Davis (California) Police Officer Natalie Corona

Officer Corona was shot and killed after responding to a three-vehicle crash in the city of Davis.

January 5
Provo (Utah) Police Officer Joseph Shinners

Officer Shinners was shot and killed in a shootout in the parking lot of a Bed Bath & Beyond store while trying to arrest a man who skipped court hearings while on probation, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

RELATED: Officials identify Provo officer killed in line of duty