MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — More officers die in line-of-duty crashes and shootings in the South than in any other region in the nation, according to data released Monday afternoon from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
There were 129 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty last year, according to the data. Of those, 73 died “as a result of felonious acts.” Another 56 died in what are classified as “accidents.”
Officers who were killed were most likely to be male, according to the FBI. Of the 73 killed in felonious acts, 24 were killed in what were classified as unprovoked attacks. Eight were ambushed, eight were involved in pursuits, seven were responding to disturbances like a fight or a domestic violence call and four involved barricade or hostage situations, among others.
Those officers were most likely to be killed by being shot. Of the 73, 44 were killed in the South.
Of the 56 classified as accidentally killed, 32 died in vehicle crashes. Those officers were most likely to be men who were about 40 years old and had spent a decade in law enforcement.
The other situations included 20 officers who were pedestrians when they were hit by vehicles. Four drowned.
Of the officers who died in crashes, seven were wearing seatbelts and five were not. Information was not reported to the FBI for 18 of the deaths.
Of the accidental deaths, 26 were in the South.
Multiple officers were killed in vehicle crashes last year in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee regions in South Carolina, including a North Myrtle Beach officer who died on New Year’s Day.
A week later, Marion County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jonathan David Price was killed in a two-vehicle crash. A few days later, another Horry County officer was killed after being hit by a vehicle while he was clearing debris.