Year-to-Date: D.C. on Track to Break 2012 Homicide Milestone

At the current rate, D.C. could end 2013 with fewer homicides than the milestone-breaking 92 that occurred last year.

If the rest of the year plays out identical to 2012, D.C. will end 2013 with 82 homicides, making it the lowest number in over 50 years.

To date, 24 homicides, have been reported, nine fewer than there were at this point in 2012. Ten of those 24 cases have been closed with an arrest.

Other year-to-date stats of note:

  • The deadliest months have been January, February and March, with all three months experiencing six homicides. Last year, January and April were the deadliest months of the first quarter, with nine homicides each.
  • This year, D.C. has seen the death of one infant: Samauri Jenkins, and one teen: Darius Cannon. Excluding infants, no one under the age 18 was murdered in 2012.
  • One homicide case this year has been ruled self-defense; MPD closed six cases as self-defense in 2012.
  • D.C. Wards 7 and 8 have experienced the most homicides thus far this year, with six and seven, respectively. Through the first quarter of 2012, Wards 5 and 8 each experienced seven homicides, and Ward 7 experienced 14 homicides.
  • None of the traffic fatalities that have occurred in DC this year have been classified as homicides.

In an interview with Homicide Watch D.C. last year, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier spoke of four tactics that have had a significant impact on reducing homicides. In an interview last week she said those efforts were contributing to this year’s continuing decline.

“By focusing on gangs, guns and investing in technology in recent years, we have made a real impact on violent crime,” Lanier said in an email to Homicide Watch DC. “We have also developed trusting relationships with our communities, and we continue to receive valuable information to prevent crimes and close cases.”

Metropolitan Police have also placed a lot of effort into deterring youth from criminal activity by offering summer programs that keep them engaged throughout the summer. This year, MPD will hire more than 100 youth who applied through the Summer Youth Employment Program, said an MPD spokesperson.

MPD will also operate two summer camps that will include various speakers in the fields of forensic science and law enforcement, with advice on how to stay in school, plan a career and succeed. Beat the Streets, an effort in various DC communities that aims to bring youth and senior community members together and provide information on various educational opportunities, colleges, job corps and military programs, begins Friday.

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