Police and law enforcement officers continue to be the victims of a violent trend, as six officers were the victims of gun violence over just the past two days, prompting a somber post from a Michigan sheriff.
Mike Bouchard, the Oakland County sheriff, took to Twitter late Thursday to post a photo of the condolence letters that his office plans to send out to other police agencies. He said the letters are intended "for first responders who died in the line of duty in January."
"And unfortunately, another three officers were shot today in Houston. Prayers," he posted.
Three police officers were hospitalized during a separate shooting incident in Houston, after a suspect shot one officer in the foot, another in the leg, and a third officer in the arm, all of whom were hospitalized in stable condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital, authorities said.
The shootings targeting law enforcement officers on Thursday were not isolated in Houston.
Two more police officers were shot Wednesday afternoon in St. Louis; a Milwaukee sheriff's deputy was shot several times during a traffic stop Wednesday evening; and, three more police officers were shot in Houston on Thursday, in separate instances, authorities said.
One St. Louis police officer was in "very critical, very unstable" condition after he was shot in the leg and another officer was shot in the abdomen around 1 p.m during a traffic stop, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John Hayden said during a press conference on Wednesday.
"I am asking the public to pray for our officers. This is a rough time," Hayden said. "They're doing everything they can to keep people safe, and we keep having these critical incidents."
The officer who was critically injured had been serving in the force for three and a half years, while the other officer has been on two and a half years, according to the chief. Both are in their mid-20s.
Officers spotted the vehicle that was wanted in a homicide case from the night before and pulled it over, Hayden said. The people inside the vehicle shot at the officers as they approached the vehicle, striking both, before fleeing. The four individuals were taken into custody, the chief said.
In Houston, the officers, all of them belonging to the Northeast Patrol, were identified as N. Gadson, 35; D. Hayden, 32; and A. Alvarez, 28, by a tweet from the Houston Police Thursday evening.
After shooting the officers, the suspect fled and barricaded himself in a house, authorities said.
A short time later, police officers surrounded the building and, after a gunfight in which the suspect was shot in the neck, the unidentified 31-year-old surrendered.
During a third incident in Milwaukee, a sheriff's deputy was shot several times in his arms and torso after he pursued a passenger who fled on foot from a traffic stop, officials said.
The unidentified deputy, 26, has been with the agency for 18 months and was hospitalized, Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell R. Lucas said during a press conference Wednesday.
"Thank goodness his injuries at this point do not appear to be life-threatening," the sheriff said during the presser. "This is twice within two weeks law enforcement officers have encountered individuals with weapons and have been shot doing their job."
2/2: As of about 3:30 a.m., the deputy was conscious, breathing & receiving treatment. The suspect vehicle driver is in custody. The shooter/passenger, considered armed/dangerous, is at large. West Allis & Milwaukee police departments are assisting in the search.— Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office (@MilwCoSheriff) January 26, 2022
Police officers have also been injured in non-shooting incidents as two St. Louis police officers were hit by a vehicle Monday evening and a police officer in Philadelphia was dragged about five blocks by a stolen SUV Tuesday evening.
The number of officers who were killed in 2021 is the highest recorded in the past 20 years, new data recently released by the FBI showed.
This figure includes unprovoked confrontations and premeditated ambushes.