With al-Qaida calling for terror attacks on U.S. polling places, Election Day was a busy one for law enforcement … and a deadly one as well.
While no acts of terrorism developed over the day, officers in New York, Colorado, Arizona and California were involved in gun battles with armed assailants that left one officer dead and one wounded.
Three officers on patrol in the Bronx were fired upon when they stumbled upon a botched robbery being carried out by four males, described as being in their late teens or twenties, reported WABC.
In the subsequent pursuit, two of the suspects were captured, with one suffering a wound from police gunfire. No officers were injured.
Not so fortunate was a Show Low, Arizona, officer gunned down outside an Arby’s restaurant Tuesday afternoon. Police identified the shooter as Daniel Erickson, 36, and said he was wearing a long, dark trench coat and carrying a silver handgun. Erickson managed to switch vehicles after fleeing and is still on the loose. While the unnamed officer’s condition had been listed as “critical” by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, other police agencies posted messages of condolence for his passing to the Show Low department’s Facebook page later in the day, reported the Arizona Republic.
Police in Aurora, Colorado, found themselves the second victim when investigating a report of a shooting Tuesday afternoon. Officers were lead to a suspect’s Denver address following a fatal shooting in neighboring Aurora, reported KMGH News. It was there the Aurora officer was shot, though the wounds were not life-threatening. A suspect in the shooting was shot and killed by the police, and the scene is still considered active as a search for further suspects continues.
A heavily armed individual in Azusa, California, killed one person and injured three others Tuesday afternoon, forcing authorities to shut down nearby polling places, reported the Los Angeles Times. Despite initial concerns, the shooting did not appear to be an attack on the voting site, although one of the victims had been on his way to vote.
The suspect – reported by police to be a woman and by witnesses to be a male – was armed with a rifle with “rapid-fire capability.” The shooter fired at least 20 shots at police when they arrived on scene. No officers were hit, but they continued to be exposed to gunfire while evacuating civilians from the scene.
Despite the risk of violence that goes along with the job and the targeted violence being promoted against police by groups like Black Lives Matter, officers continue to put themselves in danger to protect and defend the public.
WND has reported that the Los Angeles Police Commission has recommended that officers actually run away from conflict situations with armed suspects. Their motivation had less to do with protecting officers’ lives than it did with preventing shootings by officers that result in charges of racism and police brutality.