Police killed by gunfire makes 2011 worst year in a decade

August 12, 2011

Officer Nick Armstrong

Nick Armstrong, 28, became the 49th law enforcement officer killed by gunfire in the U.S. this year, putting 2011 on track for one of the worst years for lawmen killed in gun-related deaths in a decade. [Witness LA]

Armstrong was shot Aug. 2 along with two other Rapid City, South Dakota, police offers responding to a disturbance call.

The officers had reportedly approached a group of men who were drinking and causing a nuisance. For reasons that are still unclear, one of the men pulled out a gun and started shooting, hitting all three officers, mortally wounding two of them.

Officer Ryan McCandless, also 28, died almost immediately. Armstrong, meanwhile, was taken off of life support a few days later, and died just a few hours after another officer, this time San Diego policeman Jeremy Henwood, a reserve Marine, was shot and killed while in his patrol car.

Armstrong was buried Thursday morning in a ceremony that, between the grieving community, grieving sheriffs and grieving cops, drew people from all around the state. More than 38,000 viewers watched the live stream of the funeral.

A family member who wrote of Armstrong’s loss said: “I don’t think there’s a ‘war on cops,’ as some articles suggested earlier this year. Suicides have risen with the economic downturn. So, maybe it is merely that, in insecure times, disturbed people are more likely to snap and do terrible things to themselves and others. Really, I don’t have the answer.

“What I do know is that, in the space of a week, three excellent people—two in South Dakota, one in California—were shot and killed while working to make our communities safer for the rest of us.”



  1. JordanJ says:

    How many cops have brutally murdered unarmed citizens this year? The difference is they cover it up and get away with it all the time.

    (-9) 21 Total Votes - 6 up - 15 down
    • r0y says:

      Bold reply. Very bold.

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
    • Dogpound says:

      That is one of the most idiotic posts ever. The article gives info about three Officers who were gun downed while doing their jobs and that is what you come up with? It is sad when anti-cop rhetoric dominates ones’ attitude and belief system. Your statement is based on exactly that: anti-cop rhetoric. 49 people killed trying to protect and serve the populations where they worked. Are cops perfect? NO. Do they make mistakes? Of course. Do they deserve the BS comments like yours? Absolutely not. Grow up.

      (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
      • mkaney says:

        I think what you’re MISSING is the implied correlation between the increase in citizens killed, beaten, or harassed by police with the rise in attacks on police officers. This is not a point that should be overlooked. I think some people just get upset that the police are only thinking of it from their perspective, not the perspective of of citizenry that feels more and more threatened by its police officers. There are a lot of reasons for this, and I understand that police are trying to protect themselves, but we did not use to live in a country where SUBMISSION was absolute. With that change, and the increased militarization of the police, there is going to be a backlash from the public. That’s just the reality of the situation.

        (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
        • Dogpound says:

          I am not MISSING anything and there was no implied correlation. All JordanJ was doing was spreading hatred. Show me some stats where this allegedly happens. The Police are bad mouthed by the press, and citizens who do not know any better. Again, they make mistakes. So do Doctors-you see nothing when they kill someone by accident or misdiagnose and kill them as a result. When people lash out for no reason at the Police, we have anarchy. Take this incident in SF where a suspect shot at the Police and then was shot. This video is typical anti Police by people who have no idea. You can see the suspect’s cun in the corner of the frame from :09 to :16. The suspect was wanted for murder and on Parole. Get the facts before you start pointing fingers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ5mGwrjHKo&has_verified=1

          (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
          • mkaney says:

            “we have anarchy”.. You are confusing anarchy and chaos, which are two totally different things. But that’s expected… the words have been intentionallc onfused over the years to associate voluntary association and free will with disorder.

            The thing is, that if it was a citizen making such a mistake, they would go to prison. The reason that people have a growing resentment towards police officers is because they are protected from any sort of repurcussions, and because they are too quick to kill civilians. Do you understand how many people each year are gunned down by police? Between 2003-2006 there were over 2600 arrest related deaths*, and that’s deaths, not merely excessive use of force. That’s a lot of “whoops” I’d say. BTW I am not sure what SF incident you are referring too, because the BART incident involved a knife (supposedly), not a gun.


            (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
            • Dogpound says:

              Once again you have zero basis for your statements. If a Police Officer makes a mistake, he/she WIL go to prison. Look at the recent BART shooting involving Ofc. Mehserl. He meant to pull his TASER and pulled his gun by accident. He went to prison, even though the suspect was fighting against arrest. And your “Between 2003-2006 there were over 2600 arrest related deaths*, and that’s deaths, not merely excessive use of force”. Is completely wrong and (intentionally?) misleading. Did you even read your own cited article?? Your numbers include it also includes deaths in which officers may not be directly involved in the circumstances resulting in the death (e.g., suicide, deaths due to alcohol/drug intoxication, illness, and accidental injury). And all subject died in jail and/or prison. Convicts kill eachother in prison, suicide in prison, get sick in prison, etc. You want to blame police for that too??!! How about this: don’t break the law+don’t go to prison=higher chance to live longer. Stop blaming the Police for the stupid actions of others. Oh, add “don’t resist arrest, don’t pull a knife or gun on police, and don’t try to flee in a vehicle”.

              (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • Dogpound says:

      JordanJ, you are a sad individual. Pathetic actually. Here is what type of people most cops are, the type of person that was killed in cold blood, the type of person YOU hate simply because he is a Police Officer: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/44167629#44167629

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. smartmouth says:

    Sadly, twice as many policemen commit suicide as are killed in the line of duty each year.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
    • azuresees says:

      Nice….Good response for those who didn’t want to die. Hence, your screen name…

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  3. easymoney says:

    A little light on the facts, what happened to the drunk perps? Were any arrests made? Any one make it as far the courts? Any convictions on cop murdering perps?
    IMHO, this article is intended to focus on guns, not criminals. There have been a record number of gang related crimes and murders in all cities accross the nation, there have been a record number of illegals aliens commiting crimes both with and without weapons in this country,there have been over 5000 troops killed overseas in the middle east by weapons and there was a record number of semi auto weapons intentionally sold across the southern border with the federal governments blessings…

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
    • smartmouth says:

      Where are you getting your information? I apparently and getting information to the contrary.

      (-5) 5 Total Votes - 0 up - 5 down
    • smartmouth says:

      The Latest Stats
      Show a Continuing Decline in Crime


      We’ve just released our first peek into crime in 2010—with a snapshot of the first six months of the year.

      The early returns are encouraging. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January-June, 2010, the nation saw a 6.2 percent decrease in the number of reported violent crimes and a 2.8 percent decrease in the number of reported property crimes compared to data for the same time frame during 2009.

      The report specifically covers the violent crimes of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault…and the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. It also includes arson, which is considered a property crime but is tracked separately for this report.
      UCR Data Tool screenshot

      Check crime rates in your area using the
      UCR Data Tool.

      Some of the preliminary findings:

      * Reported incidents of violent crime as a whole decreased in all four regions of the country—falling 0.2 percent in the Northeast, 7.2 percent in the Midwest, 7.8 percent in the South, and 7.2 percent in the West.
      * In the Northeast, reported incidents of murder were up 5.7 percent, forcible rapes were up 1.1 percent, and aggravated assaults were up 2.4 percent.
      * Reported incidents of property crime as a whole declined in all four regions of the country—dropping 0.2 percent in the Northeast, 2.5 percent in the Midwest, 3.6 percent in the South, and 3.1 percent in the West.
      * In the Northeast, however, reported incidents of burglary rose 3.9 percent.
      * Population-wise, cities with 500,000 to 999,999 residents saw the greatest decline in reported violent crimes (8.3 percent) and in property crimes (4.8 percent).

      (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
  4. Side_Show_Bob says:


    How ’bout just plain MURDER of US Cops?

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
    • swarde says:

      good point, Bob. We’ll let the courts decide the “murder” question, but we can improve the headline. thanks.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down

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