Four police shootings in three states in 24 hours rattle authorities

Image: George P. Bush III

This undated photo provided by the St. Louis Police Department shows George P. Bush III, who police say shot a St. Louis police sergeant in the face Sunday night, Nov. 20, 2016, and then fled. AP

Neither the officer nor the suspect were immediately identified.

NBC affiliate KSHB of Kansas City reported that the officer was expected to make a full recovery.

On Sanibel Island, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, some residents were warned to lock their doors and close their windows after an officer was injured during an incident that bore an eerie resemblance to the killing in San Antonio: while an officer completed a traffic citation just before 8 p.m., a passing motorist opened fire, wounding him, the Sanibel Police Department said in a statement.

The officer,

identified by NBC affiliate WBBH as Jarred Ciccone, was treated at a local hospital and released. The suspect, Jon Webster Hay, was taken into custody at his home after a shootout with authorities, the station reported.

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The spate of violence was a grim reminder that attacks against police have risen dramatically this year, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said in a statement. According to what the fund described as preliminary information, 127 officers have been killed in the line duty in 2016, a 67 percent jump from the same time last year.

“Clearly, our officers are facing horrendous and growing risks while serving and protecting our communities,” the statement said.

Noting the spike in police killings, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Department of Justice was working to improve officer safety.

“I regard this increase with the utmost seriousness,” she said. “In the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue to assist state and local law enforcement officers in any way that we can to reduce the frequency and deadliness of these tragic incidents.”

Meanwhile, in Dallas, interim chief David Pughes said that he warned his officers on to use “extreme caution,” and he encouraged them to pair up with a partner.

In Chicago, police officials distributed a safety bulletin on Monday morning and reminded officers to be “extra vigilant” while conducting traffic stops and field interviews, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. Dispatchers will also check in with officers more regularly, he said.

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