According to a recent study, perhaps as many as 1/10 of all suspects
fatally shot by police officers are suicidal
and have committed their crimes with the intention
of being killed by the police. The majority
of people who choose to commit suicide
in this fashion are males
, which seems to fit the trend
of males using more violent
methods to commit suicide than females. An uncharacteristically
large percentage of them have a history of domestic violence
and alcohol abuse
Approximately one-half of individuals who end their life in this manner threaten the police with a real loaded firearm. About 20 percent use replica firearms.
Suicide by cop is on the rise. Police consider this an especially undesirable method of suicide because of the psychological impact it has on the officers involved. Many police are now aware of the problem and try to use nonlethal force when possible.