A total of 160 people died in homicide incidents in 2018 in D.C., which is a 40 percent increase from 2017 when 116 such deaths were recorded in the District.
According to the Washington Post, among the 534 people shot at in D.C. in various shooting crimes till mid-December, 23 percent didn’t survive the gunshot wounds, which included 12 deaths from previous cases that were later proved homicide by the police.
The Post reported that petty disputes between people were the main cause of the fatal shootings. According to officials, the District has experienced a spike in fatal shootings whereas most other cities nationwide saw a decline in such incidents.
“When you look at our known homicide offenders in the city, about 40 percent of those have a prior gun arrest. At all levels of the criminal justice system, we have to do better,” said D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham.
Other parts of the region have shown a decrease in shooting-related deaths even as homicides shot up in D.C. Homicide cases in Montgomery County, Maryland came down from 21 in 2017 to 19 in 2018. Similarly, in the past two years, in Fairfax County, Virginia, deaths from shootings fell to 13 from 18 cases.
According to an earlier Report on Crime and Crime Control: 2017, the crime rate across metropolitan Washington region saw a decline for the fifth consecutive year.
“Total crimes against people and property are on the decline— a trend that we have enjoyed for the last decade. However, a slight increase in the individual category of rape in 2017 indicates that there is still work to be done to deter as well as educate about this and other crimes,” Ronald A. Pavlik, Council of Governments (COG) Police Chiefs Committee Chairman, had noted in the report.