DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado is not the deadliest state for police, but police are more likely to be assaulted and injured here than in most states.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office says says a deputy, woman and suspect are dead after a shooting Sunday. Deputy Andrew Peery, 39, was shot. Another deputy and officer returned gunfire until additional officers and deputies arrived on the scene. They immediately tried to save Peery’s life, but by around 8 p.m., EPSO said that Peery had been killed in the line of duty.
This marks the first felonious killing of a Colorado police officer this year. Historically, officer killings are uncommon. There has been an average of one per year since 2001.
In any given year of the last 20, Colorado has never had more than three police officers killed by gunfire in the line of duty. Last year there were two, which broke a two-year stretch when there were no line-of-duty officer killings statewide.
There were three killings in 2006. All of the other 20 years had either none, one or two. Per capita, Colorado’s rate of officer killings is the 21st-highest, right in line with its population ranking.
While killings are not more common in Colorado than in other higher-population states, assaults are much more common.
Since 2011, there has been a total of 35 officers assaulted and injured in the line of duty in Colorado. This is the nation’s ninth-highest total.
It is also the nation’s fifth-highest rate, with an average of 6.5 officers injured by assault per 1 million population. Only Alaska, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming have higher rates.