(MEDIA GENERAL) – At least four officers have been shot, and three have been killed in the last 15 days. The tragic moments have been punctuated by shock, fear and sadness.
Here’s what we know about the men behind the badges.
Mobile, Alabama: Undercover officer shot
Mobile Police have confirmed an undercover Mobile Police Department officer shot in the early morning of Friday, April 1 is stable. A family member tells WKRG News 5 the officer was hit three times, twice in the legs and once in the abdomen. The suspect is currently in critical condition.
The shooting occurred around 2:30 a.m. It was an undercover narcotics operation. Shots were fired between the officer and the suspect. The motorcycle that the suspect tried to ride in his escape attempt was taken by police as evidence.
The officer who went into surgery early Friday morning had to have a portion of his small intestine removed after taking a bullet to each leg and his lower abdomen. Mobile Police say the officer is a member of the Mobile County Street Enforcement Narcotics Team.
Greenville, S.C.: Officer had a baby on the way
Officer Allen Jacobs, 28, was shot by a gang member Friday, March 18 in Greenville, South Carolina. The police chief says officers approached a self-admitted gang member, Deontea Mackey. Mackey ran from them and opened fire on the officer hitting Jacobs several times. Police say Jacobs’ weapon was still in his holster and snapped.
Police say Mackey then shot and killed himself.
Police describe Jacobs as a dedicated officer who worked on gang activity. He was a four-and-a-half-year veteran of the police department. He was married and was the father of two young boys. His wife is pregnant with the couple’s daughter due to be born in July.
Prior to joining the police department in 2011, he served in the US Army and was a decorated Iraq War veteran and received numerous medals and commendations for his service. He was ranked Police Officer III and served on the Community Response Team and S.W.A.T. team.
Howard County, Indiana: Liaison officer, deputy killed
A Howard County deputy was shot and killed while serving a warrant early Sunday morning, March 20.
Deputy Carl Koontz, 27, was hit in an exchange of gunfire while standing at the front door of a. Koontz had been on the force for nearly three years. Indiana State Police said the suspect died of a gunshot wound. The Howard County Sheriff’s Department and the Russiaville Town Marshall were attempting to serve a warrant for drug paraphernalia.
Koontz leaves behind a wife and 8-month-old son.
His funeral, fittingly, took place in Northwestern High School, the same place where Koontz worked as a liaison officer.
“Carl went above and beyond the call of duty to minister to those kids, to help those kids,” said Pastor Steve Cole of Faith Church of Christ and also the leader of the funeral.
Although Koontz was only a deputy and had been with the department for less than three years, he already had high aspirations for his future. His ultimate goal was to serve and protect the community where he grew up in one of the highest positions possible.
Richmond, Va.: Officer killed at bus station
Virginia State Police confirm that Trooper Chad Dermyer, 37, died after being shot at a Greyhound bus station. Police have identified the gunman as 34-year-old James Brown III of Aurora, Illinois.
Dermyer, a native of Jackson, Michigan, is survived by his wife and two children. Trooper Dermyer is the 62nd Virginia State Police Trooper to be killed in the line of duty during the Department’s 84-year history.
The incident happened during a Virginia State Police training exercise, according to officials. During the exercise, troopers were questioning passengers getting off of buses. Dermyer approached a male subject around 2:40 p.m. just inside the front doors of the bus station. While talking with the male subject, the man pulled out a handgun and shot the trooper multiple times. The trooper was not wearing a bullet-proof vest. Dermyer was in uniform at the time of the shooting.
Dermyer had just recently transferred to the state police Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction Unit. Prior to joining the state police, Trooper Dermyer served with the City of Newport News Police Department and the Jackson, Mich., Police Department. Dermyer also served our nation for four years with the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Officer Down Memorial Page keeps track of officers who die in the line of duty. The full list can be seen here. According to the site, gunfire deaths are up this year, while overall line of duty deaths are slightly down.