The truth is: mentally ill people kill police officers with guns at a much higher rate than most people realize. I recently wrote a book on sixty 2011 line-of-duty murders of police officers. Do you know how many officers were killed by mentally ill offenders with guns last year alone? In a single year, the following officers were killed by confirmed mentally ill offenders: Deputy Suzanne Hopper, Chief Ralph Painter, Deputy Eric Stein, Officer Chris Kilcullen, Deputy Kenneth Vann, Deputy Keith Bellar, Officer Jeremy Henwood, Deputy Robert Lasso, and Deputy Rick Rhyne. This equates to about 15% of cop-killers in 2011 who were diagnosed as mentally ill.
However, more than 40% of the shooters were symptomatic, meaning they were clinically depressed, making suicidal statements to family and friends, actively delusional, hallucinating, or otherwise in need of immediate mental health intervention at the time they came into contact with law enforcement and killed a police officer.
I bear no ill will against the mentally ill and agree that, in general, they are a low-risk population for criminal behavior. It is the flawed "community treatment model" that is presenting a major problem for officer survival. Keeping severely ill folks in the community who need intensive MH treatment in an inpatient hospital setting is not a good idea. Often, the families of these shooters agree: they could not get their loved one the treatment they needed.
For those who may be interested, my book is called Officer Down 2012: Lessons Learned from Line-of-Duty Deaths. You can read excerpts from the book on my website at www.dynamicpolicetraining.com. And, my hope is to share with other officers what I have learned in my research, not just sell books.