Los Angeles police announced 300 homicides have occurred in the city so far this year, a figure not seen after a decade of reductions in overall crime and street violence, police department officials said Sunday.
The depressing statistic comes amid growing concerns about spikes in violence this year, not just in Los Angeles but also other big cities across the nation as they continue to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic and all the social and economic fallout, CNN reports.
“A number we have not seen in over a decade—300 homicides in a year,” the department tweeted. “Senseless violence & tragic loss of life. “Our people are doing everything they can to stop the violence, but we need your help. If you have any info, report it. You can remain anonymous.”
The number is an increase from the 257 homicides reported in 2019, LAPD told CNN. According to Crime data the number of murders had increased by 21% over the same period in 2019 and the number of shooting victims went up by about 18%.
The murders included the killing of a 17-year-old riding his motorcycle in the LAPD’s Southeast Division.
“I am HEARTBROKEN!!” Deputy Chief Emada E. Tingirides said on Twitter. “It’s has been a tragic weekend in Los Angeles to include the murder of a 17 year old riding his motorcycle close to his home.”
“A Weekend like this creates Lasting Trauma in Communities. Praying for South Los Angeles,” Tingirides added.
Between Friday and Sunday a 20-year-old man was shot to death in the neighboring 77th Division, and a half-dozen other shootings occured that left at least 7 wounded.
The last time homicides topped 300 in the city was in 2009.