Thursday's death of a local lawman in Lenoir County marks the 81st law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in the United States this year.
The "Officer Down" memorial page website reports that's a seven percent increase over 2010.
The majority of the deaths, 34 of them, were by gunfire. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Fred Thornton was the last officer to die in our state. He was killed when an explosive device detonated as he handle SWAT equipment in February.
Four lawmen have been killed in the line of duty since April 2009.
Lenoir County deputy Allen Pearson was shot and killed in April of 2009. Martin County deputy Charlie Brown was shot and killed in December of 2009. Greene County deputy Jon Willis was shot and killed in July 2010.