We’ve noticed that this story from February 2018 is receiving a surge of traffic in 2020. Annual statistics on police officers killed in the line of duty can be found on this page of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Line-of-duty deaths fell by 75 percent between 1970 and 2016, according to a study. From 2017 to 2019, an average of 50 police officers were killed in the line of duty, excluding accidental deaths.

On February 5, Micah Flick, a deputy with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, was trying to apprehend a car thief in Colorado Springs when the suspect opened fire, killing him. The gunman wounded two other deputies and a bystander before being killed by police.

Flick, 34, is survived by a wife and 7-year-old twins and had been with the department for 11 years. His wife recounted at his funeral that he shielded his fellow officers from gunfire.

“Micah saved my life, and I will forever be grateful,” said Deputy Scott Stone, who was also shot and remains hospitalized.

Flick’s death was the start of a particularly lethal week for American law enforcement officers: At least five officers were killed by gunfire in the line of duty from February 5 to February 10.

On February 7, Officer David Sherrard, a 13-year veteran of the Richardson Police Department in Texas, was responding to a shooting at an apartment complex when he was shot in the neck. Sherrard, 37, who was married with two daughters, died at a hospital. The alleged assailant was charged with capital murder.

On February 9, Chase Maddox, 26, a police officer with the Locust Grove Police Department in Georgia, was serving a warrant to a man who failed to appear in court for a traffic violation when the man opened fire, killing Maddox and wounding two deputies. Maddox left behind a pregnant wife and a child. He had been with the department for five years. The man who allegedly shot him was killed by police.

The next day, Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering of the Westerville Division of Police in Ohio were killed while responding to a 911 hangup call at an apartment when the resident shot them both. Morelli was 54; Joering, a 17-year veteran of the force, was 39. The suspected gunman was charged with capital murder.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a nonprofit site that tracks line-of-duty deaths, a total of 10 officers have been fatally shot so far this year. Last year, 42 law enforcement officers were fatally shot in the line of duty, the site reports.