Last year, NYPD officers were involved in 105 shooting incidents, the fewest on record. But that’s still 364 shots fired. The department just released its firearms-discharge report for 2008, only a few days after being sued by the New York Civil Liberties Union in state court for wider access to official accounts of each shooting. Here, a bullet-by-bullet breakdown of what went down last year.
ACCURACY IN HITTING TARGETS
57%: Police firing at suspects
67%: Police firing at suspects firing at police
90%: Police firing at dogs during dog attacks
13%: Suspects firing at police
WHAT WERE THOSE WHO WERE INTENTIONALLY SHOT AT BY THE POLICE ARMED WITH?
Tire iron: 1
Total shots fired at dogs: 142
Total dogs involved: 39
Percentage of those dogs that were pit bulls: 87
PROVOKING ACTS BY THE 13 SUSPECTS SHOT TO DEATH
Fired a shot: 5
Threatened an officer with a knife: 2
Threatened an officer with a blunt object: 2
Engaged in armed robbery: 1
Aimed a gun: 1
Stabbed someone: 1
Hit officer with car (gun went off accidentally): 1
SHOTS PER OFFICER
One shot fired: 27 officers
Two shots fired: 7
Three shots fired: 4
Four shots fired: 7
CIRCUMSTANCES OF SHOTS FIRED UNINTENTIONALLY
Gun was being loaded, unloaded, or inspected: 10
Officer was physically struggling with suspect: 2
Gun was being holstered: 1
Gun was dropped: 1
Officer was hit by car driven by suspect: 1
NUMBER OF OFFICERS WHO INTENTIONALLY FIRED…
While wearing plainclothes: 25
While wearing a uniform: 26
While off-duty: 9
NUMBER OF OFFICER SUICIDES IN 2008: 7
Sample Incident Reports
19 Shots Fired
On July 22, 2008, four police officers confronted an “emotionally disturbed,” retired NYPD sergeant during a domestic dispute on Staten Island. After the officers took one pistol from him, he got another and opened fire from a parked car. The officers returned nineteen shots, killing him.
8 Shots Fired
On May 31, 2008, an off-duty NYPD officer heard someone robbing the officer’s wife, who was with their 3-year-old daughter outside their apartment. When the officer confronted him, he fled, then aimed a gun at the officer, who fired eight rounds, killing him.
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