WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) -- Forty-one law-enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in the United States by felonious assault in 2008, according to new FBI statistics.
The statistics marked a drop in the number of felonious deaths from 2007, when 58 officers were killed. According to preliminary statistics released ahead of the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program's annual report, the officers were killed in 38 separate incidents.
The majority of the incidents were in the South, where 20 victims were killed. Nine officers were killed in the West, and nine more were killed in the Midwest. Three law-enforcement officers were killed in the Northeast.
While two officers died from injuries sustained during a bomb explosion, the majority of the deaths occurred because of handguns, rifles and other firearms.
"The number of officers killed in accidents also dropped from the previous year as 67 officers were accidentally killed," according to an FBI news release. "This represents 16 fewer officers killed in accidents than in 2007."