WASCO, Calif. (KGET) — A Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy is the latest law officer to end his watch too soon after a blistering gunfight in Wasco Sunday afternoon.
Deputy Phillip Campas, a member of KCSO’s SWAT team, was killed responding to a hostage situation in Wasco. His death comes just months after a Bakersfield Police K-9 Officer was killed by an armed suspect in April. A family member of the other victims told 17 News that the domestic tragedy may have 5 deaths, including the gunman. That has not yet been confirmed by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
Campas’ death is the latest in a year that appears to be on track to be deadlier than 2020 for law enforcement. According to the FBI, 37 officers were feloniously killed by the end of June. That is a 32.1% increase from the first six months of 2020.
According to the FBI, 29 deaths have been firearm-related. 12 were “unprovoked” attacks.
But by July 16, the death toll rose to 40 officers killed, dangerously close to the total for the entire year of 2020.
Non-fatal attacks increased that year in California. According to the Department of Justice, there were over 10,500 assaults on officers in 2019. In 2020, assaults jumped to more than 11,600. In particular, firearm assaults were up 30.2%.
Campas’ death comes after frequent comments by Sheriff Donny Youngblood that officers are facing more aggressive suspects, armed or not.