The past week has been one of the most violent for law enforcement. Following the very public killings of both Alton Sterling and Phil Castile, officers have experienced violence from the hands of those whom they have been sworn to protect. Since the murder of five police officers and the wounding of seven others in a Dallas attack by former military member Micah Johnson during a peaceful protest on Thursday evening, ambush shootings against law enforcement have erupted throughout the country.
2:25 am Thursday morning before the Dallas attacks, an armed 37-year-old Lakeem Keon Scott shot four people, killing one.
Preliminary investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reveals that Scott may have intentionally targeted officers, greatly affected by the recent police brutality events. One officer was wounded. Jennifer Rooney, a local newspaper delivery worker, was killed.
8am on Friday morning following the attacks in Dallas, Valdosta Police responded to to a call of a break in. Responding Officer Randall Hancock was shot multiple times, also firing back and wounding the suspect who was identified as 22-year-old Stephen Paul Beck.
St. Louis, Missouri
12noon Friday, a St. Louis County Officer was wounded when walking back to his vehicle following a routine traffic stop in Baldwin, Missouri. The suspect shot three shots, one of which hit the officer in the neck, critically wounding him. He has been hospitalized in critical but stable condition, according to the spokesman for the St. Louis Police Officers Association, Jeff Roorda..
Police Departments throughout the nation have placed themselves on heightened alert. Following the attack in Dallas, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department was put into full lockdown. The president of New York City’s Sergeants Benevolent Association, Ed Mullins, suggested bullet-proof shields and assault rifles within each sergeant’s patrol car. The second vice-president of the Houston Police Officers Union, Joe Gamaldi, told his officers to “keep heavy-vests resistant to rifle fire in their trunks." The grim reality is, that in these ambush and surprise attacks, there is very little an officer can do.