Crime

Two Cops Shot Day After Dallas Shootings

| by Ray Brown
Police arrest a suspectPolice arrest a suspect

Two more police officers were shot in different parts of the country less than one day after sniper fire killed five officers in downtown Dallas.

An officer in Ballwin, Missouri, was shot during a traffic stop, as was an officer in Valdosta, Georgia, while responding to a damaged property call in what appears to have been part of a planned attack. Both officers suffered multiple bullet wounds but still survived and are now in stable condition.

Ballwin is a suburb of St. Louis just a few miles away from Ferguson, where protests erupted in 2014 after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old black man.

This time, in Ballwin, the unnamed officer stopped a 31-year-old man who was on probation for a weapons violation, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. At some point during the stop, the suspect shot the officer in the neck.

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"Make no mistake, we believe that Ballwin officer was ambushed,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.

The suspect fled on foot but was soon apprehended by other officers.

Police said the motive for the shooting is not known at this time, reported the Post-Dispatch.

The officer who was shot was taken to a nearby hospital where he is “fighting for his life,” said Ballwin Police Chief Kevin Scott.

In Valdosta, 22-year-old Stephen Beck called 911 to report his car had been broken into, reported the Associated Press. But when Officer Randall Hancock arrived, Beck allegedly shot him three times in the abdominal area, with two of those shots hitting his bulletproof vest.

Hancock shot back and seriously injured Beck, who is now in custody. Hancock's condition has been listed as “stable.”

Overall, line of duty deaths for police officers are down 11 percent in 2016, with 57. Of those 57, 26 were gunfire-related deaths, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Other deaths include vehicular accidents and heart attacks.

The year 2015 was one of the safest on record for police officers, with 41 intentional deaths, reported the Huffington Post.

In 2016 so far, there have been 34 intentional deaths, including the mass shooting in Dallas on July 7.

Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Associated Press via WRDW, Officer Down Memorial PageHuffington Post / Photo credit: he who would be lost/Flickr

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