Police officers in two states were killed on Friday.
Stanley officer Dominic “Nick” Winum, 48, was fatally shot in the afternoon while attempting a traffic stop in the Virginia town, Stanley Police Chief Ryan Dean said in a statement.
Virginia State Police told news outlets in a statement that Winum was trying to stop a vehicle when the driver of that car approached him and opened fire.
The suspect was identified as Dakota Richards, 29, of Stanley.
Fellow law enforcement officers, state police, and sheriff’s officials tracked down the suspected shooter and took the person into custody.
Winum “proudly served and protected the Stanley community” since joining the force in 2016, Dean said, adding: “I know the Stanley and Page County community are keeping Nick and his family in their prayers during this most difficult and tragic time.”
Stanley is in the Shenandoah Valley, about 105 miles southwest of Washington.
Also on Friday, a law enforcement officer was shot dead in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) said officers responded to the vicinity of George Washington Carver High School around 6:15 p.m. after being notified of an officer in danger.
They found a Tulane police officer, who was also a reserve New Orleans 2nd City Court Constable, suffering with a gunshot wound to the chest.
The victim, who has not been identified, was rushed to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries.
A preliminary investigation showed a suspect had entered the high school for a basketball game when he got into an altercation with a staff member. The suspect then pulled out a gun and opened fire.
“The officer heard the disturbance and attempted to intervene … as a result of trying to intervene and escort the individual out of the school, the individual pulled a weapon and fired a shot that struck the officer in the chest,” NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson told reporters during a briefing near the shooting scene on Friday.
The officer was working security for the event.
The suspect was immediately apprehended and arrested.
Ferguson told reporters that Mayor Latoya Cantrell was informed of the situation and sent her condolences to the family and Tulane University.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks law enforcement deaths, 60 officers have died so far this year, including 10 from gunfire and 33 from COVID-19.
Friday’s deaths were the first in 2021 in Louisiana and the second in Virginia.
The National Fraternal Order of Police said 314 officers were shot in 2020, a 7 percent increase from a record-number in 2019 and a 33 percent increase from 2018.
“This year, law-abiding citizens saw the real-life consequences of what happens when elected officials embrace pro-criminal, revolving-door policies. Murder rates skyrocketed in major cities across America. Some cities, like Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis, saw their murder rate increase by over 50 [percent],” Patrick Yoes, president of the group, said in a statement last month.
“Our nation’s law enforcement officers, despite the adversity they face, put themselves in harm’s way to protect and serve the communities that they love. I have no doubt that the brave men and women of law enforcement will continue to hold the line, standing in between good and evil and work tirelessly to protect their neighbors.”