Ohio Deputy Latest Fatality in Rising Officer Deaths

By Scott Sarvay

January 3, 2011 Updated Jan 3, 2011 at 7:12 PM EDT

ENON, Ohio (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Wife, mother of two, fallen hero. That's how an Ohio Sheriff's Deputy is being remembered after being killed in a violent shoot-out.

Police say 57-year-old Michael Ferryman shot two officers Saturday, fatally injuring 40-year-old Suzanne Hopper. 32-year-old Jeremy Blum is expected to be released from the hospital tomorrow.

Ferryman was killed in the exchange of gunfire, but investigators are still trying to determine if he took his own life or was shot by police.

In 2009 Ferryman was accused of threatening the son of a girlfriend with a knife, but charges were not filed. Neighbors also say he had a temper.

Nationally, the number of officers shot and killed in the line of duty jumped 20% last year. The numbers increased from 49 to 59.The total number of officers killed on the job rose even more - 37%. That represents a jump from 101 to 160 deaths. That's a drastic change from 2009, when officer deaths were at a 50-year low.

LaGrange County Sheriff Terry Martin says, "I think the economy crunch has probably hurt a lot of departments as far as training and those types of things, and maybe as far as equipment. We've been really fortunate up here that it hasn't affected us as far as me getting officers the training they need and the safety, but you can be the best trained and best equipped, but you're still going to have those problems from time to time."

Traffic related incidents still account for the highest number of deaths in the line of duty - rising from 51 to 73 nationally last year.

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