PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD. — An officer shot and killed on Wednesday became the second American policeman to die in the line of duty in less than 24 hours.
The officer, who died while attempting to intervene in a domestic violence dispute, has not yet been identified. The suspect police say responsible for the officer’s death was shot and killed after police returned fire.
“With broken hearts, we are announcing that one of our officers was shot and killed today,” the Prince George’s Police Department wrote on Twitter (https://tinyurl.com/y7f8gmxj). “The brave officer was shot while stepping in to protect a woman threatened in a domestic situation. Please keep his family and our department in your prayers.”
“The suspect who killed our officer was shot and killed by responding law enforcement. More details later,” the department wrote in a follow-up tweet.
The Maryland shooting came less than 24 hours after another officer was shot and killed in the line of duty in Alabama.
Officer Justin Billa of the Mobile Police Department was gunned down after a murder suspect barricaded himself in his Alabama home at around 12:30 a.m. The suspect, in Billa’s murder, identified as Robert Hollie, was also pronounced dead at the scene.
It is not yet known whether Billa shot himself or if he was killed by police.
Billa, who had been named Officer of the Month in 2016, spoke of the dangers of the job during an interview with FOX 10 (https://tinyurl.com/ya7ckktl).
“She tells me she loves me every day before I leave for work. And I make sure I do the same,” Billa said of his wife.
He leaves behind a one-year-old son.
Chuck Canterbury, president of the National Fraternal Order of Police, says something must be done.
“When will our nation wake up and face that the steady increase of attacks on law enforcement is making all of us less safe,” Canterbury said earlier this month in the wake of an officer shooting in Ohio. “Enough is enough!”
To date, 15 officers have been killed in the line of duty in 2018 (https://tinyurl.com/y8s8gv6m). A total of 129 officers died last year.
Funeral arrangements for the officers are currently pending.