Thursday’s ambush attack against Dallas police officers represents the largest loss of police lives in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.
Despite a reported 20-percent decrease in the number of police killed in the line of duty from 2014 to 2015, The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund tracked 123 deaths last year. In the six months since the start of 2016 the organization reports 56 officers have died in the line of duty.
Here’s a look into some of the deadliest days for police in American history.
Nov. 29, 2009 – Lakewood, Washington
As four officers sat inside Forza Coffee Co. prepping for the day’s shift, a gunman entered and opened fire. After fatally shooting all four with a Glock pistol, the gunman fled the area.
After an intense two-day manhunt, Maurice Clemmons was shot and killed by police. The targeted, ambush-style attack was said to be the result of the killer’s multiple run-ins with police.
In 1989, Clemmons was given a 95-year sentence for a slew of charges to include robbery, burglary, theft and possession of a firearm on school grounds. His sentence was commuted in 2000.
Sept. 11, 2001 – New York City, New York
In an attack emblazoned in the minds of many Americans, terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Centers in New York City. In total, 72 police officers died that day in what would become known as the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history. Several agencies to include Port Authority, New Jersey Police Department, New York City Police Department, FBI and the Secret Service lost officers in the terrorist act.
April 19, 1995- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City bombing In what would become the worst case of domestic terrorism in the U.S., eight officers dead.
Using a truck bomb placed inside a rental Ryder truck, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols targeted the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. At 9:02 a.m. the bomb was detonated. The blast ultimately killed 168, including 19 children.
Both terrorists were captured and arrested. McVeigh was executed in 2001, while Nichols is serving 161 consecutive life terms in prison without parole.
Feb. 28, 1993 – Waco, Texas
Attempting to execute search warrants for the possession of illegal weapons, four agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were killed by Branch Davidians at their compound. The deaths prompted a two-month standoff between the religious cult and law enforcement.
On April 19, after FBI and ATF agents punctured compound walls the religious sect, led by David Koresh, conducted a mass murder-suicide. Over 80 members perished.
Jan. 2, 1932 – Brookline, Missouri
On a dreary winter day, a crew of ill-prepared officers made their way to the Young Farm. Police set out to arrest two of the brothers for auto theft. The officers approached the Young house, demanding the brothers surrender. Neither did, so the officers proceeded to the rear of the home and kicked in the door. The percussive blasts of gunfire sounded and within minutes six of the 10 officers lay dead. The remaining four retreated safely. Escaping to Houston, Texas, the Young Brothers didn’t live long. Three days after the Missouri massacre, the brothers were killed in a shootout with local law enforcement.
Nov. 24, 1917 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The second deadliest attack in law enforcement history occurred on a Saturday evening at the Milwaukee police station. A suspicious package had been left outside a downtown church. After it was discovered, a church member sent a young boy to deliver it to the police station. As several officers examined the box, it exploded, immediately killing them. The perpetrators were never apprehended, though police suspected the bomb was the result of an anarchist group seeking revenge against the church where the package was originally found.
Dec. 15, 1890 – Standing Rock, South Dakota
Six officers from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs lost their lives in an attempted arrest on Sitting Bull, leader of the Sioux Indian tribe.
The officers woke the chief in the early hours of the morning, hoping to convince him to leave quietly without waking the rest of the camp. Unfortunately, Sitting Bull refused and a crowd soon gathered outside his homestead. Tensions rose and shots were fired. Four officers died immediately in the melee and two died later from their injuries. Sitting Bull and his son were also killed in the attack.
May 4, 1886 – Chicago, Illinois
A protest by labor radicals turned deadly after an unidentified man threw a bomb at officers arriving on scene. The rally, held in Haymarket Square, rallied against the killing and wounding of workers by Chicago Police Department during a strike the day before.
As officers arrived to disperse the crowd, protestors turned angry. After the initial bomb blast, police and possibly other attendees opened fire. After all was said and done, seven police officers and one civilian were dead.