MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The WMC Action News 5 Investigators exclusively obtained data from the Department of Justice Monday showing the number of police officers shot while on the job in 2019 increased compared to the prior year.
The DOJ’s report hasn’t been published yet, but an employee shared preliminary numbers with our team, showing more officers were shot in the line of duty last year nationwide -- including in Arkansas and Mississippi.
Preliminary numbers shared by the DOJ show 273 officers were shot in the line of duty last year -- a 9-percent increase from 2018.
In total, 44 of those officers died from their injuries.
Here’s a look at those 2019 numbers broken down by state:
- 5 officers were shot in Tennessee -- one died
- 4 officers were shot in Arkansas -- two died
- 7 officers were shot in Mississippi -- one died
The records show officers responding to a disturbance call like the incident at Walmart in Forrest City were more likely to be shot than officers responding to other calls.
These numbers only include officers shot while on the job.
The DOJ’s final report will be out later this month.