Seven officer fatalities so far in 2019

Four of the seven are gun-related

TYLER, TX - 2019 is off to a rough start for our first responders across the country.

The National Sheriffs' Association reports seven officers have been killed in the line of duty, just since of the start of the year. 

Four of these deaths were gun-related, and another officer remains in the hospital after being shot on the job last week. 

KETK Today anchor Cynthia McLaughlin tells us more about this tragic start to the new year.

Since January 1st, seven law enforcement officers were killed while on duty, all of which happened in the span of just nine days. 

On Saturday, January 5th in Utah, Provo police officer Joseph Shinners was shot and killed while trying to apprehend a fugitive. 

The following Saturday, the community gathered to watch the chilling procession of more than 800 vehicles in his honor.

In Ohio, Monday, January 7th, Colerain Township police officer Dale Woods was directing traffic at a crash scene when he was struck by a pickup truck. 

He died in the hospital later that night. 

A week later his favorite radio station dedicated more than an hour of air-time to the 46-year-old officer. 

The procession is scheduled for Monday morning. 

This was just the start to a heart-breaking pattern.

Tuesday, Salt River Tribal police officer Clayton Townsend was struck by a distracted driver during a traffic stop.

Wednesday, January 9th, Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, brought two more tragedies.

Shreveport, Louisiana police officer Chatéri Payne was shot and killed on her way to work.

In North Carolina, Raleigh police officer Charles Ainsworth was responding to a report of a stolen car when he was shot several times.

Thursday the 10th, City of Davis police officer Natalie Corona was shot and killed while investigating a three-car crash.

Officers across the nation hoped and prayed that would be the end to a harrowing week, but the weekend brought two more tragedies.

Saturday, Illinois state trooper Christopher Lambert was killed after being struck by a vehicle while investigating another crash.

That was followed by the fifth officer-involved shooting this month. 

In Birmingham, Sergeant Wytasha Carter was shot and killed while investigating two burglary suspects.

CNN reports that last year. 47 officers in the U.S. were fatally shot in the line of duty.

Raleigh police officer Charles Ainsworth remains in the hospital, as our country hopes that this number of fallen officers doesn't climb anymore. 

On friday, Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown held a press conference asking for an end to gun violence and support for their officers.

She refused to release any information about Ainsworth's condition, saying the family wants privacy. 

Chief Deck-Brown added that everyone is "hopeful for a full recovery."

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