Background Previous officer-involved shooting (OIS) research has focused primarily on antecedents to fatal shootings, with few studies investigating injury more broadly. Our study examined the factors associated with fatal or non-fatal injury to both civilians and officers during OIS incidents, to better understand how harm might be reduced in the most extreme law enforcement scenarios.
Methods Data included 281 officers involved in 177 unique shooting incidents recorded by Dallas Police Department between 2005 and 2015. Bivariate logistic regression and multivariable generalised estimation equation analyses were used to investigate incident characteristics associated with fatal or non-fatal injury to civilians and officers.
Results Civilian injury occurred in 61% and officer injury in 14% of unique OIS incidents. In adjusted models, multiple shooting officers increased the odds of injury to both civilians (adjusted OR (AOR): 3.22, 95% CI 1.39 to 7.50) and officers (AOR 4.73, 95% CI 1.64 to 13.65). Odds of civilian injury were also significantly higher during the daytime and among non-Hispanic white compared with non-Hispanic black and Hispanic/Latina/o civilians, although a majority of OIS incidents (79%) involved non-Hispanic black or Hispanic/Latino/a civilians. Odds of officer injury were significantly higher for detectives compared with patrol (AOR=9.32, 95% CI 1.85 to 47.03) and during off-duty versus on-duty shootings (AOR=5.23, 95% CI 1.37 to 19.99).
Conclusions Both civilians and officers are at risk for injury during OIS incidents, though to different degrees and with unique risk factors. Additional research is needed to understand whether these results are replicated elsewhere and to further understand the mechanisms of injury.
- occupational injury
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Contributors EP conceptualised of the project, managed and analysed data and drafted the manuscript. KKJ assisted with data collection for key covariates and analyses and provided feedback on manuscript drafts. SAB collected data and provided feedback on the manuscript draft from a law enforcement perspective. KPG worked with EP to develop a data analysis strategy and provided iterative feedback on manuscript drafts. JMRG conceptualised the study and acquired funds to complete it. She oversaw all data collection, analysis and manuscript preparation for this project.
Funding Funding for this study was provided by a University of Texas School of Public Health Front of the Envelope Innovation Award and a National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) career development award (K01OH011532).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval Analyses were approved by the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (HSC-SPH-15-0957).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon request.