2021 is taking a deadly toll on Georgia law enforcement officers

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Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 2:16 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - It’s been a dangerous past few months for Georgia police law enforcement officers.

Four have been killed in the state in three months and eight have been killed so far this year.

In the latest deadly case, an officer was killed after responding responded to a domestic disturbance call Tuesday in Clayton County, south of Atlanta.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Clayton County police officer Henry Laxson was killed when a man started shooting at officers when they arrived. Another officer was wounded. The GBI says officers returned fire, hitting the man, who died on scene. Officers discovered that shortly before they had arrived the man had shot and killed two women and shot a 12-year-old boy in the face.

Also this week, two DeKalb County sheriff’s investigators were injured in a shooting as they served an arrest warrant Wednesday morning at a home in DeKalb County.

Josh Watson of the Georgia Law Enforcement Organization had this to say: “Even though they work for different agencies across the state, they all have one common goal in mind and that is the protection of people.”

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report, 264 officers died in the line of duty nationwide in 2020. Out of those, 48 were killed by gunfire. Of those 48, seven were responding to domestic violence calls. The study also found that numerous more have been severely injured when responding to domestic-related calls.

According to the FBI, 59 officers were killed between Jan. 1 and Oct. 12 in 2021.

FBI Director Christopher Wray during National Police Week called the dramatic increase between 2020 and 2021 an “alarming uptick” and said that it basically translates into one officer “murdered” every five days.

Here’s a look at the death toll this year in Georgia:

  • DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Daniel Mobley was killed on Jan. 2 when he was hit during a traffic stop on the Downtown Connector.
  • Decatur County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Justin Bedwell was shot March 1 while assisting with a chase and manhunt. He died 2 days later.
  • Bibb County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Christopher Knight was stabbed and killed by an inmate at the Bibb County Jail on April 6.
  • Holly Springs Police Department Officer Joe Burson was dragged and killed during a traffic stop on June 16.
  • Alamo Police Department Officer Dylan Harrison was shot and killed killed outside of his station on Oct. 9.
  • Henry County Police Department Officer Paramhans Desai was shot Nov. 4 while attempting to make an arrest during a domestic disturbance call. He died on Nov. 8.
  • Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Lena Nicole Marshall was shot Nov. 5 while responding to a domestic call. She died on Nov. 11.
  • Clayton County Police Department Officer Henry Laxson was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute on Nov. 30. Officer Alex Chandler was also shot in the hand.

From reports by WGCL/CBS46 and The Associated Press.