Image: Miami funeral service for two police officers killed trying to serve a warrant
Joe Raedle  /  Getty Images
Police officers salute as a hearse carrying the body of one of two Miami-Dade police officers killed last week arrives for a memorial service at American Airlines Arena on Monday in Miami. Officers Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo were killed Thursday when they were serving an arrest warrant.
By Reporter
updated 1/24/2011 8:33:37 PM ET 2011-01-25T01:33:37

A spate of shooting attacks on law enforcement officers has authorities concerned about a war on cops.

In just 24 hours, at least 11 officers were shot. The shootings included Sunday attacks at traffic stops in Indiana and Oregon, a Detroit police station shooting that wounded four officers, and a shootout at a Port Orchard, Wash., Wal-Mart that injured two deputies. On Monday morning, two officers were shot dead and a U.S. Marshal was wounded by a gunman in St. Petersburg, Fla.

On Thursday, two Miami-Dade, Fla., detectives were killed by a murder suspect they were trying to arrest.

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"It's not a fluke," said Richard Roberts, spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations. "There's a perception among officers in the field that there’s a war on cops going on."

With the Florida deaths, the nation is on track in 2011 to match the 162 police officers killed in the line of duty in 2010, said Steve Groeninger, spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that tracks police casualties. In January this year there have been 14 deaths, the same number as in January 2010, the fund posted on its web site.

The 2010 toll ended a two-year drop in fatalities and spiked 43 percent over the 117 killed in 2009, Groeninger said.

Story: Suspect dead after 2 cops killed, marshal wounded in Fla. home

Law enforcement advocates worry that cuts in police budgets could exacerbate the danger.

"We don't have any data, but there seems to be a type of criminal out there looking to thwart authority," he said.

He cited the example of Jared Loughner, accused of killing six and wounding 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, on Jan. 8 in Tucson, Ariz. "People with this mentality feel the need to eliminate those in position of authority," he said.

Roberts said the recent shootings are reminders that officers must constantly stay on alert.

"The bad guys are not afraid of cops," Roberts said. "They’re rarely rational. You get that combination, when you ID yourself as a cop, it does not scare them away; it makes it more dangerous for you."

Noting the Oregon and Indiana shootings occurred during so-called "routine traffic stops," Roberts said, "The word routine should be eliminated from the job. There's no such thing. There is only 'known risk' and 'unknown risk' " he said.

Roberts, a former North Beach, Md., police officer, and Groeninger both voiced worries over police budget cuts.

Reducing police response times and cutting back on in-service training can endanger not just citizens but cops on patrol, they said.

"It's not a good situation out there," Groeninger said.

Here is the status of the police shooting investigations on Monday:

  • Indianapolis police say they arrested Thomas Hardy in the shooting of Officer David Moore, who was shot in the face and body and remained in a coma.
  • A manhunt continued in the Oregon beach town of Waldport for a gunman who shot officer Steven Dodds, 45, a six-year veteran of the Lincoln City Police Department. Police were looking for the owner of a 1984 Dodge truck that fled the shooting scene.
  • In Detroit, four officers shot inside their precinct were recovering, police said. Investigators said Lamar Moore, 38, of Detroit entered the 6th Precinct on the city's northwest side about 4:30 p.m. Sunday and shot Cmdr. Brian Davis, Officer David Anderson; Sgt. Ray Saati; and Sgt. Carrie Schulz. Officers returned fire and killed Moore, who was scheduled to be sentenced Monday for his role in a double homicide, they said.
  • One of two deputies wounded in Port Orchard, Wash., was released from the hospital while another remained in satisfactory condition after being wounded Sunday in a gunfight. A suspect and a female victim who came running to his aid were killed. Police were investigating how the female victim was shot. The gunman was identified as Anthony A. Martinez, 31, of Salt Lake City. The Deseret News said police had issued an endangered persons advisory for a 13-year-old runaway believed to be traveling with Martinez.
  • In St. Petersburg, Fla., a suspected gunman was found dead after two police officers were shot to death and a U.S. marshal was injured as they tried to make an arrest. Suncoast Benevolent Association President Mark Marland identified the fallen officers as Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz.
  • In Miami, thousands of law enforcement officers gathered at a funeral service in American Airlines Arena to honor Roger Castillo, 41, Amanda Haworth, 44, who were killed on Thursday while serving a warrant on a suspected killer. The suspect, 22-year-old Johnny Simms, was killed by another officer.

The Associated Press and Reuters also contributed to this report.

Video: Public alarmed by spate of police shootings

  1. Transcript of: Public alarmed by spate of police shootings

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: In Florida today , at the same time thousands of police officers were gathering in Miami at a funeral for two of their own killed last week in the line of duty , two more police officers were killed elsewhere in Florida . It's part of an alarming cluster of shootings in the first month of the new year after an especially deadly 2010 for law enforcement . NBC 's Mark Potter has more.

    MARK POTTER reporting: In St. Petersburg , Florida , an early morning shootout as police search for a fugitive. In a hail of bullets from inside a house, two city officers are shot and killed and a US Marshal is wounded. In the last five days around the country there have been at least five other incidents in which police were shot. Last Thursday in Miami , two officers were killed by an armed suspect. On Sunday in Lincoln City , Oregon , an office was shot during a traffic stop. And in Detroit , four officers were injured when a gunman walked into a police precinct with a shotgun. In Port Orchard , Washington , two officers were shot in a Walmart parking lot. And in Indianapolis , an officer was shot in the face. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund , 14 police officers have already been shot and killed in the line of duty this year. Fifty-nine others were shot and killed last year, which is up 20 percent over the year before. Police say more criminals seem willing to take on the authorities.

    Mr. JOHN TIMONEY (Former Miami Police Chief): I've not seen this many shootings in this short period of time in my 40 years in law enforcement .

    POTTER: In Miami today at a memorial for that city's two fallen officers, Anthony Castillo mourned the loss of his father.

    Mr. ANTHONY CASTILLO: And, Papi , I know you're in here. I just want to let you know that we all love you and we'll miss you forever in


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