Entries in Fatalities (8)


Deadly Year for Law Enforcement Officers, Report Shows

The casket of NYPD officer Peter Figoski is brought out following his funeral in Babylon, New York. Figoski, a 22-year NYPD veteran was gunned down during an attempted robbery in December. Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- This year was one of the deadliest in recent history for U.S. law enforcement, according to a new report.

In-the-line-of-duty deaths among police officers ticked up for the first time in four years, the report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said. A total of 173 officers were reported killed in the line of duty, up 13 percent from the year before.

“We've seen drastic budget cuts affecting law enforcement agencies across the country and those budget cuts have put our officers at grave risk,” the organization’s Craig Floyd said, adding that “These numbers we’re releasing today are a wake-up call to legislators across this country that when it comes to public safety, we must stop cutting.”

This year marks the first time in 14 years that firearm deaths were higher than the number of officers killed in traffic. Of the 68 firearm deaths, Floyd says, 14 were shot making an arrest.

The report found that 64 officers died in traffic accidents this year, down from the 71 killed in 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Two Dead After US Navy Fighter Jet Crashes in California

U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alexander Tidd/Released(LEMOORE, Calif.) -- Two crew members aboard a U.S. Navy fighter jet were killed Wednesday when the aircraft crashed near Lemoore Naval Air Station in California, according to officials.

The F/A-18F Super Hornet went down at 12:08 p.m. in a private field close to the Naval Air Station.  The pilot and weapons systems operator on board were on a routine training flight.  Their names are being withheld until their loved ones are notified.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


One Dead, Five Injured After Houston School Shooting

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- One person was killed and five others were injured during a shooting -- believed to be gang-related -- at a high school in Houston Wednesday night.

According to ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV in Houston, the shooting occurred just before 7 p.m. at Worthing High School during a powder puff football game.  Eyewitnesses said a car, which police believe carried gang members, drove onto the athletic field and started shooting.

Six people were shot, one of whom was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.  The identity of the victim has not been released.

The suspects fled the scene but police managed to track down a gold Ford Taurus with blood stains on its doors about five miles from the Texan high school.  At least one person was taken into custody.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ga. Police Shooting Latest in Deadly String Nationwide

Comstock/Thinkstock(ATHENS, Ga.) -- A police officer was killed and another wounded in a shootout with an armed carjacker Tuesday afternoon near Athens, Ga., the latest in a string of police shootings nationwide since the beginning of the year.

The shooting took place at 1:30 p.m. and officers are still looking for a suspect, according to the Athens-Clarke Police Department.

The wounded officer was transported to a local hospital, as uniformed police began a house-by-house search for the suspected gunman, identified only as a 33-year-old man.

Five nearby schools were placed on lockdown as a result.

The Georgia shooting occurred just minutes after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder met with chiefs of police to discuss the historic number of police shootings in the past three months.

Last year "really marked the deadliest year for law enforcement in nearly two decades and that is obviously very worrisome," Holder said before his meeting with police chiefs from more than 25 cities and representatives from several federal law enforcement agencies.

"This year we are unfortunately on track to exceed the number we saw last year," Holder said. "These numbers are simply unacceptable. Our law enforcement officers put themselves in harm's way every day."

Twenty-three officers and federal agents have been gunned down this year compared to 15 officers killed by guns at the same time last year. A total of 49 officers have been killed so far this year, including five federal agents, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Those figures do not include Tuesday's shooting in Athens.

A total of 162 officers were killed in 2010, 61 of whom died from gunshots.

On Sunday, Craig Birkholz, a 28-year-old police officer was shot and killed in a shootout with a suspected gunman in the shooter's Fond du Lac, Wisc., home.

Two other officers were also wounded in that shooting.

Earlier this month, a U.S. marshal was killed and two St. Louis police officers wounded following a standoff with a suspect they were attempting to arrest.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Two Deputies Dead, Two Others Wounded After Shooting in Virginia

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(VANSANT, Va.) -- Two deputies were killed and two more were wounded after a shooting in Virginia Sunday that also left the gunman dead.

According to Virginia State Police, the incident occurred just after 2 p.m. in Vansant, as deputies from the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office were responding to a 911 call about a larceny in progress at a salvage yard. The first two deputies to arrive on scene were fatally shot by the assailant, while two others that came later suffered gunshot wounds.

Among the two deputies injured, one was airlifted to a hospital in Tennessee with life-threatening injuries. The other was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for serious injuries.  Their names have not been released.

Authorities have also confirmed that the gunman, who has not been identified, was shot and killed. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Farmhouse Fire Kills Seven Children in Pennsylvania

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(BLAINE, Pa.) -- Seven children were killed Tuesday night after a fire broke out at a farmhouse in Pennsylvania.

According to officials, the blaze started around 11:00 p.m. at a two-story farmhouse in Blain, just north of Harrisburg.  State Trooper Tom Pinkerton said the childrens' mother was in the barn milking cows when another child alerted her to the fire.  The mother then ran to the home of a neighbor, who called 911, before running to get the childrens' father, who was taking a nap in his milk delivery truck a short distance away.

"Once the father was alerted, he immediately rushed back to the house," Pinkerton said.  "At that time, the fire department was already on scene.  The residence was fully engulfed."

Six girls and one boy, ranging in age from seven months to 11 years old, died in the fire, according to police.  The three-year-old girl who told her mother about the fire survived.

According to the county coroner, the children died from smoke inhalation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Three Dead, Dozens Injured After Truck Hits Mississippi School Bus

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CALHOUN CITY, Miss.) -- Three people were killed and dozens injured Tuesday afternoon when a tractor-trailer struck a school bus head-on in Mississippi.

According to ABC News affiliate WAPT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi, the bus was returning from an event at the University of Mississippi in Oxford when it was hit by the 18-wheeler near Calhoun City.  Bus driver Steven Moss, 37, school teacher Phyllis Graham, 53, and 54-year-old Gary Bailey, the driver of the tractor-trailer, were all killed instantly.

Officials said 40 to 50 students were treated for injuries at the scene, while seven were transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Storm Causes Deaths, Injuries, Power Outages; Affects Travel

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CHICAGO) -- A winter storm left a 2,000-mile-long trail of snow and ice from the Midwest to the Northeast and two thirds of the nation facing downed power lines, shuttered highways and thousands of airport cancellations.

Several deaths have been blamed on the storm labeled a "winter storm of historic proportions" by the National Weather Service.

Sandra Joslin, 50, of Wichita, Kansas, died when her car got stuck on a set of train tracks in the snow, ABC affiliate KAKE reported.  Joslin was on her way to work at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning when she got stuck.  She was thrown out of her car when the train hit the vehicle.

A man in Detroit died in a traffic accident caused by icy roads, the Detroit News reported, while in New York, a homeless man burned to death when he tried to light cans of cooking fuel to stay warm.

The storm that pounded the Midwest moved east Tuesday.  Hospitals in the Northeast saw spikes in emergency room visits from people slipping and sliding on ice.  Emergency rooms were seeing a spike in ankle, wrist and head injuries, doctors said.

In Middletown, Connecticut, the roof of a building housing several shops collapsed, the Hartford Courant reported.  No one was injured.  Two workers heard a cracking noise and ran.

That was one of several roofs in the region to collapse.

In Boston, several planes were damaged when a roof caved at the Norwood Memorial Airport, ABC Affiliate WCVB reported.  The freezing rain and snow was piling on top of the mounds of snow from past storms.

The nation's heartland took the brunt of the storm, with snowfall totals of a foot and a half or more piling up in parts of Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service.  Parts of Michigan, Ohio and Massachusetts also got more than a foot of snow.

Amtrak service in the Midwest and Northeast was curtailed.  Several trains scheduled to depart from Chicago were canceled.  Trains were operating on a delayed schedule in some parts of the Northeast.

Across the nation, 5,634 flights had been canceled as of 12:20 p.m. ET, according to Flightaware.  The total number of flights canceled this week swelled to 13,608 flights.

Chicago's O'Hare Airport, perhaps the hardest hit, was closed Tuesday after 20.2 inches of snow fell in the city and high winds created blizzard conditions.  Chicago's public schools were also closed for the first time in 12 years. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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