Yet in 63 of the 65 shooting deaths that the Justice Department has analyzed this year, 73% were the result of ambush or surprise attacks, said Josh Ederheimer, deputy director of the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services Office.
"It is an incredibly large number," Ederheimer said.
Earlier this year, a USA TODAY review of officer deaths highlighted a rising number of ambush slayings. In that August review, nearly 40% of the shooting deaths at that time were attributed to ambush or surprise attacks. That number was up from 31% in all of 2009, according to the most recent FBI study.Let's hope we can get to the bottom of this trend and reverse it. If ever there was a trend that needed to be reversed, this would be it.