Since the start of 2018, at least 27 law enforcement officers across the U.S. have died while on duty – with 17 of the deaths caused by gunfire.
Roughly 135 cops died in 2016, making it the deadliest year for police officers in at least five years, Fox News has determined. While there were fewer deaths in 2017, the numbers weren’t much better: A total of 129 officers died last year. And 46 of those deaths were caused by gunfire.
Read on for a look at officers who have died in the line of duty so far this year.
Officer Sean Gannon
Officer Sean Gannon with the Yarmouth Police Department in Massachusetts was shot and killed on April 12 while serving a warrant in Barnstable.
While searching the home, Gannon and his K-9 came across a man hiding in a closet, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. The suspected shooter opened fire and shot Gannon in the head. The officer’s K-9, Nero, was also injured in the incident.
The suspect was later identified as Tom Latanowich, 29, of Somerville, Mass.
Latanowich, who will be charged with murder, had 111 prior adult offenses and was on probation, according to authorities.
Gannon, 32, served with the Yarmouth Police Department for nearly eight years before his death.
Officer Keith Earle
Officer Keith Earle with the Huntsville Police Department in Alabama died on April 9.
The officer succumbed to injuries sustained during an on-duty car accident in March, WHNT19-TV reported. He was on duty at the time of the incident.
“Eula and I are praying for the family of Officer Keith Earl and everyone in the Huntsville Police Department. We offer our deepest condolences as our community mourns his loss and remembers his service,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said in a statement after Earle’s death.
The 46-year-old had served with the police department for 25 years.
Corporal Dale Hallman
Cpl. Dale Hallman of the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina died around 1 a.m. on April 6 in a single-vehicle crash.
Hallman, who served with the sheriff’s office for five years before his death, was seriously injured when his patrol car went off the side of the road and overturned, according to a local news report. Hallman was ejected from the vehicle.
The corporal was taken to a local hospital but did not survive his injuries.
Hallman was responding to a call from local deputies, who were chasing an armed man who was allegedly holding a child hostage. The deputies called for backup from Saluda’s Bloodhound Tracking Team, of which Hallman was a part of.
Hallman’s K-9, Copper, was found at the scene and is expected to recover, according to The State.
The 30-year-old is survived by his wife, who is pregnant, and their two children. A GoFundMe has been started for the family.
Deputy Sheriff Ryan Zirkle
Deputy Sheriff Ryan Zirkle of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office in California was killed on March 15 while responding to a 911 hangup call regarding an alleged traffic accident.
Zirkle, 24, lost control of his vehicle, went off-road and struck a tree, ABC 7 reported. His partner later went searching for Zirkle and discovered him at the scene.
Zirkle, who served with the sheriff’s office for over two years, was transported to a local hospital but later died.
He is survived by his fiancée, two brothers and parents.