When Sgt. Collin Stosberg puts on his Missouri Highway Patrol uniform and jumps in his car, he knows there's always a risk.
Stosberg has been shot at before.
“It seems like there are a lot of people armed, more now than ever before,” the former SWAT member said.
Last Friday, a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper responding to a call outside of Harrah’s Casino was shot in the leg. The 26-year veteran is now out of the hospital and starting his rehabilitation.
But the number of these incidents where suspects shoot at state troopers is on the rise.
Officer-involved shootings involving the MHP:
2013: 5 shootings
2014: 2 shootings
2015: 9 shootings
2016: 5 shootings, so far this year
“I’m not exactly sure why it’s happening, but it is happening on a regular-basis. We’re not even half-way through the year,” said Stosberg.
Local police departments have also recently experienced incidents were suspects have fired on their officers.
Earlier this month, a gunman shot and killed Kansas City, Kansas detective Brad Lancaster as he was responding to a call. On Monday, a suspect on the run allegedly fired at Kansas City, Missouri police.
According to KCPD, the number of aggravated assaults on its officers is actually lower this year than last year at this time. Aggravated assaults include use of any deadly weapon toward an officer.
Both KCPD officers and MHP troopers are required to wear bulletproof vests whenever on-duty or engaged in off-duty jobs.
Officer Down Memorial Page tracks the statistics of line-of-duty deaths nationwide.
In 2011, there were 88 line-of-duty deaths from assaulted means, including gunfire, stabbings, assaults and vehicular assaults.
Law enforcement on-duty deaths nationwide, according to Officer Down Memorial Page:
2012: 65 deaths
2013: 39 deaths
2014: 60 deaths
2015: 56 deaths
2016: 23 deaths, so far this year
Ariel Rothfield can be reached at Ariel.Rothfield@KSHB.com.