Whenever there is a line of duty death, the entire community of law enforcement feels the pain. This week we’ve been hit hard with tragedy after tragedy.

A total of five officers have been killed in the line of duty in just the eight days. Four of them were shot and killed by armed suspects.

Four of them left children and families behind. One was incredibly young, just out of the academy and onto the streets. 

All of them were heroes. 

 

Dianne Bernhard, the Executive Director for Concerns of Police Survivors, issued a statement in the wake of tragedy this week.

“The past few days have been devastating for the law enforcement community with the death of so many officers, and most in such violent ways,” she said. “But it’s not just the law enforcement community that is affected by these deaths; it’s every person in America that is ready to put an end to this violence.  While that’s easier said than done, we can assure you that C.O.P.S. is here for each surviving family member and co-worker of these fallen heroes.”

 

Deputy Sheriff Troy Chisum, EOW: 6/25/2019

On Tuesday evening, Illinois State Police said that a Fulton County, Illinois deputy died after being shot in the line of duty while responding to a call.

He was identified as Deputy Sheriff Troy Chisum. 

Deputy Chisum had served with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office for 4-1/2 years. The deputy sheriff was also a paramedic with the Fulton County EMA, and on top of that, he was a member of the West Central Special Response Team and the ILEAS WMD/SRT Team, Region 6.

Illinois State Police put out a statement on social media:

“On behalf of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Deputy Chisum. Deputy Chisum dedicated his life to the service of his community. His legacy and sacrifice will forever be remembered.”

Deputy Chisum is survived by his wife.

 

Officer Michael Langsdorf, EOW: 6/23/2019

(Rose Borisow GraFX)

 

Officer Michael Langsdorf responded to a call at at the Wellston Food Market in St. Louis County, Missouri at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. The department was called because someone tried cashing a bad check. 

Five minutes later, police received a call that the responding officer was down after being shot in the chest.  

While police rushed to the scene, someone at the store live streamed his final moments on Facebook.

In the heartbreaking and disturbing video, you can see the officer moving.  The person holding the camera is swearing about what happened.

They could be heard telling him to hang on.

Minutes later, other officers arrived. The Facebook live stream continued, and viewers could see the other officers performing CPR on him and begging him to stay alive.

Officer Michael Langsdorf, who had only been with the department for about three months, did not survive. He was engaged to be married.

 

Cpl. Jose “Speedy” Espericueta, EOW: 6/20/2019

(Rose Borisow GraFX)

 

Espericueta was responding to a call for assistance from another officer on June 20 in Mission, Texas when he was viciously gunned down by an armed suspect who was fleeing the scene of a crime. 

“Our officers, as well as everyone in the line of duty, work in an incredibly difficult environment,” Police Chief Robert Dominguez said during a press conference Friday. “At times, as we see today, this environment can be extremely dangerous.”

He had recently received a merit award after helping a woman escape from her home that was engulfed in flames. He also left behind a wife and two kids.

He was the first officer to be killed in the line of duty in the Texas department in over 40 years. The last officer killed on that force was in 1978.

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Trooper Jerry Smith, EOW: 6/20/2019

(Rose Borisow GraFX)

 

Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Jerry Smith was killed in a vehicle crash when his patrol car was struck head-on by another vehicle on Highway 26, two miles west of Bridgeport, in Morrill County last Thursday. The Nebraska State Patrol released a post on Facebook commending Trooper Smith for his 25-year career in the U.S. Army and his dedicated service to the NSP since 2014.

An oncoming pickup truck crossed the center line after swerving to avoid another car that had stopped to make a left turn. The driver of the pickup truck was also killed in the crash. He left behind a wife and two adult children.

 

Officer Tara O’Sullivan, EOW: 6/19/2019

(Rose Borisow GraFX)

 

Last Wednesday, a Sacramento police officer was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance at a north Sacramento home.

Officer Tara O’Sullivan, 26, passed away after being taken to UC Davis Medical Center. 

“Officer Tara O’Sullivan was shot and killed,” Peletta said early Thursday morning. “She gave her young life while protecting our community.”

It started around noon Wednesday after officers got reports of a disturbance between a man and a woman. They arrived at a home near Edgewater Road and Redwood Avenue around 3:30 p.m. to help the woman gather some belongings.

There were several officers at the home with the woman when the man entered the home around 6:10 p.m. Police say he immediately started shooting with a rifle, and hit O’Sullivan in a yard.

The other officers were forced take cover and couldn’t get to O’Sullivan, although they were able to get the woman out safe.

An armored vehicle was called to the scene to help get O’Sullivan, but didn’t arrive until 6:50 p.m. Officers were able to get to her nine minutes later and rushed her to the hospital.

The man barricaded himself inside the home, and officers set up a perimeter around the house, all while the man kept firing at police.

On Thursday morning, police reporting that they had arrested the man.

O’Sullivan was still a relatively new officer.  She graduated from Sacramento State University in December 2017 from the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars program, and then joined the Sacramento Police Department in January 2018.  She was accepted into the police academy in July 2018, and graduated from there in December 2018.

Let us make sure that these heroes are never forgotten. And to all those still on duty, stay safe and protect each other. 

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