Already this year, eight on-duty police officers have been killed by gunfire — including five this week alone.
The 2016 gunfire fatalities mark a notable increase from the same Jan. 1 through Feb. 11 period last year, when just one officer was shot dead, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
In total, 11 officers have died this year, versus 13 officers in the same time frame last year. But most of the deaths last year were traffic-related, not firearms-related like they are this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund's tally.
"People are hunting us. How do you think that sits with us?" Case County, North Dakota, Sheriff Paul Laney said at a news conference Thursday. "But yet we wear this badge with honor and pride and we're going to go out every day and protect our communities."
Last year, a total of 42 officers were killed by gunfire. Here are the shootings that have claimed the lives of police officers since Monday:
Mesa County sheriff's Deputy Derek Geer, a 15-year veteran, was shot Monday after responding to reports of a person walking with a gun. He got into an altercation with the suspect, 17, and was shot several times, officials said. He was hospitalized and taken off life support Wednesday.
Two Harford County deputies were killed in a shootout Wednesday at a Panera Bread in Abingdon, Maryland, where they had gone to detain a wanted man, David Evans. Evans shot Deputy Patrick Dailey, a 30-year veteran of the force, in the head, and then exchanged gunfire with Deputy Mark Logsdon, a 16-year veteran, authorities said.
"There are no words. These men are heroes," Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said. "They served this county and they served this country, faithfully, honorably and they lost their lives doing what they loved to do."
Fargo Officer Jason Moszer, 33, a six-year police veteran, died Thursday after getting shot while responding to a domestic dispute. He was the first Fargo officer to die in the line of duty in more than a century, The Associated Press said.
Clayton County Officer Greg Barney was shot Thursday at an apartment complex in Riverdale, according to NBC affiliate WXIA. Authorities said Barney was serving a "no-knock" warrant — which enables aw enforcement to enter a residence without prior notification — when the suspect ran out the back door and opened fire, striking the 25-year department veteran.
"He was a heck of an officer," Mayor Evelyn Winn-Dixon said. "This has been a monumental loss for our city."
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