It is no secret that last year Louisville saw a record number of homicides. It seemed as though a new shooting or a new homicide was being reported every day, sometimes multiple times in one day. According to LMPD, Louisville, saw an increase of just under 50% to 117 homicides (123 for the entire county) during 2016, the highest since 1976 (104 total homicides). The majority of victims were black, accounting for a little more than 60% of the total. The majority of the victims were also male, approximately 79%, and more than half of the victims were between the ages of 18 and 34. LMPD was able to make 58 arrests in the homicide cases and the average suspect is the same as the average victim: a black male between the ages of 18 and 34.
Louisville also saw an increase in the number of shooting incidents, 504 compared to 353 last year. 504 shooting incidents is also the highest that has been recorded in the past five years. Of those 504 shootings, 102 were fatal.
Since gun control has been a hot topic the past year due to the election and a small group of Kentucky Mayors asking for the State Legislature to change state law regarding gun control, many of the other violent crime categories seemed to have been ignored by the local news. Here are some of the crime statistics and how they compare to last year:
According to Mayor Fischer, violent crime is “tragically acute in a few specific neighborhoods.” Looking at the maps by LMPD division, all eight divisions have been affected by homicide and shooting incidents. However, it appears that the majority of the homicides, shooting, and aggravated assaults occurred in the 1st (mainly north of Broadway and between I-264 on the east and west) and 2nd divisions (mainly west end). Taken in total, Louisville saw an overall increase by 9% in all violent crimes and a 46% increase in homicides. This appears to be outpacing the national average. Nationwide data is still pending, but as of June 2016, the country saw an overall increase in violent crime by 5% in general, and a 5% increase in the number of homicides when compared to the first six months of 2015. If the data is limited to only cities that are comparable in size to Louisville, there was a 5% increase in all violent crimes and only a 2% increase in homicides.
After averaging about ten homicides per month last year, Louisville has registered 15 homicides as of February 15, which is about the same as last year. While we are not seeing decrease in number of homicides as of now, hopefully, we will not see another record-breaking year.