As police in Florida prepared for the funeral of two Miami-Dade County police officers gunned down in the line of duty, shots rang out Monday in St. Petersburg, on the other side of the state. Two other officers fell dead and a federal marshal was wounded. Follow updates on CNN and affiliate WFTS-TV.
On any given day, such violence against police officers would be disturbing. But the fatalities capped a particularly violent 24 hours in the United States for the men and women in blue. Eleven police officers were shot.
“It is a very disturbing trend for all of us,” said Hal Johnson, general counsel for the Florida Police Benevolent Association. “Florida has never seen a streak like this. I don’t think anybody has.”
It is natural to search for answers, Johnson said, even if there aren’t any. The shootings do not appear to be related, and the motives may never be known. Declaring it to be open season against police officers seems dangerously simplistic, he added.
He sees the shootings more as acts of desperation.
“They are shooting at people they know have guns,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what’s going on out there, but I’ve never seen it like this. I do see the developing of a callousness. It’s almost as if shooting a police officer has lost its shock effect.”
– On Sunday, four officers were shot in a Detroit police station by a man who walked in, firing randomly. Lamar Deshea Moore was shot to death by police so his motive may never be known, but local reports say a relative was awaiting sentencing for double murder. Two of the police officers remain hospitalized. For more, read CNN’s update and affiliate reports from the scene: WXYZ-TV and WDIV-TV.
– In Lincoln City, Oregon, a police officer was shot Sunday night during a traffic stop. The officer is in critical condition. Check out affiliate KOIN-TV for more information.
Although they do not appear to be related, the weekend shootings follow two other violent incidents last week involving police officers, including the Miami killings and a slaying in Lakewood, New Jersey.