Is This A Rare Spike In Cops Being Shot?

Jan 06, 2015 at 11:33 AM ET

Two New York City police officers in plain clothes were shot in the Bronx late Monday night while responding to a grocery store robbery. Both of the officers are in critical condition but expected to recover. The news of the shootings comes amid great unrest in New York City. Relations are strained between the New York Police Department, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the public after controversy over the no indictment ruling in the death of Eric Garner and the fatal shootings of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos a little more than two weeks ago.

Four high-profile assaults (two fatal) on police officers in just over two weeks in New York City alone seems like a lot. FBI statistics on assaults and killings of law enforcement officers (based on DoJ figures) show that in 2013—the most recent year for which data was available—27 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty during felonious incidents. Broken down by region, 15 officers were killed in the South, six in the West, four in the Midwest and the remaining two in the Northeast. This means the recent executions of officers Liu and Ramos in NYC are equal to the total number of law enforcement killings for the whole of 2013 in the entire Northeast (including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York).

The FBI collected data from 11,468 law enforcement agencies that employ 533,895 officers. Of this group, 49,851 officers (9.3 percent) were assaulted in 2013. Of the officers assaulted, 29.2 percent sustained injuries. The rate of injury was highest for officers who were attacked with “personal weapons” (e.g. hands, feet, etc.), with 31 percent of the officers in this camp sustaining injuries. Comparatively, of the officers attacked with firearms—like the two NYPD officers on Monday night—10.9 percent sustained injuries.

The suspects in the shooting on Monday night—which took place around 10:30 p.m.—have not yet been apprehended or identified, but authorities have offered a $10,000 bounty for any information that could lead to their arrest. The police have released a video of one of the suspects at the scene of the crime. Additionally, authorities are checking to see if a gunshot-wound victim admitted to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital last night is connected to the incident.

UPDATE: Sources are telling NBC 4 New York that police have two suspects in custody. One was apprehended in the Bronx while the other was arrested at a “Manhattan hospital”.