At least 45 law enforcement officers have been shot in the line of duty, with nearly a dozen being fatally wounded, in the first two months of 2021, according to recently released national police union statistics.
The National Fraternal Order of Police announced the startling figures on Monday, also noting that 13 law enforcement officers were injured in 10 "ambush attacks."
The statistics are likely to change. Just Monday, a Georgia deputy with the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office succumbed to injuries he suffered when he was shot in his vehicle during a police pursuit, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Lt. Justin Bedwell died at a South Georgia hospital on Monday after he was shot Saturday afternoon while responding to a police chase in his patrol vehicle.
According to a GoFundMe page created for his family, he had 20 years on the job.
"He paid the ultimate sacrifice," the Georgia Bureau of Investigation wrote on Twitter, "and we thank him for his service."