One U.S. marshal was killed, and two others were wounded in a raid on a home in Elkins, W. Va., this morning. One of the wounded officers remains hospitalized. The third was treated and released.
The raid began at 8:30 Wednesday morning. The three deputy marshals were attempting to arrest Charles E. Smith who was wanted on cocaine charges. As the marshals made their move, according to authorities, someone inside fired a shotgun blast.
The marshal who was fatally wounded was identified as Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller, 24, of Bridgeport, W. Va., who had worked for the U.S. Marshals Service for slightly over a year. The two wounded officers were not identified.
The suspect, Smith, 50, was also killed in the incident.
Hotsinpiller's death comes less than a day after a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent was shot and killed in Mexico, along with another agent who was wounded.
This all comes after a particularly violent stretch in late January when 10 cops were shot in roughly a day's time.
Two police in Port Orchard, Wash.; another in Lincoln City, Ore.; four officers in Detroit who were wounded when a gunman stormed their precinct; and in St. Petersburg, Fla., two local officers were killed and a U.S. deputy marshal was seriously injured after serving a warrant.
Spike in Violence Against Law EnforcementWhile law enforcement fatalities are down this year compared with the same time last year, the number of officers killed by gunfire is up sharply. According to the National Law Enforcement memorial, 13 officers have been killed by gunfire so far this year, a 44 percent jump compared to the same time last year.
"I think these are scary times, when we see 14 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the first month of the year, when we see a 40 percent increase in the number of officers killed nationwide in 2010, " said Craig W. Floyd, chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. "Yeah if I'm a private citizen, I'm worried, because if they will go out and kill cops, they certainly come after the citizens of this nation."
Police say most of the attacks on law enforcement are being committed by violent, repeat offenders.
" Unfortunately, this is a continuation of a trend that started last year," Floyd said. "In 2010, we lost 162 officers across this country. Sixty-one of them were shot and killed - that's 24 percent more than the year before."
And this year is outpacing last year—in terms of officers shot down.