A police officer was killed and another wounded in a shootout with an armed carjacker Tuesday afternoon near Athens, Ga., the latest in a string of police shootings nationwide since the beginning of the year.
The shooting took place at 1:30 and officers are still looking for a suspect, according to the Athens-Clarke Police Department.
The wounded officer was transported to a local hospital, as uniformed police began a house-by-house search for the suspected gunman, identified only as a 33-year-old man.
Five nearby schools were placed on lockdown as a result.
The Georgia shooting occurred just minutes after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder met with chiefs of police to discuss the historic number of police shootings in the past three months.
Last year "really marked the deadliest year for law enforcement in nearly two decades and that is obviously very worrisome." Holder said before his meeting with police chiefs from more than 25 cities and representatives from several federal law enforcement agencies.
"This year we are unfortunately on track to exceed the number we saw last year," Holder said. "These numbers are simply unacceptable. Our law enforcement officers put themselves in harm's way every day."
Twenty-three officers and federal agents have been gunned down this year compared to 15 officers killed by guns at the same time last year. A total of 49 officers have been killed already this year, including five federal agents, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Those figures do not include Tuesday's shooting in Athens.
A total of 162 officers were killed in 2010, 61 of whom died from gunshots.
On Sunday, Craig Birkholz, a 28-year-old police officer was shot and killed in a shootout with a suspected gunman in the shooter's Fond du Lac, Wisc., home.
Two other officers were also wounded in that shooting.
Earlier this month, a U.S. marshal was killed and two St. Louis police officers wounded following a standoff with a suspect they were attempting to arrest.