Los Angeles’s police chief said that the city has had 266 homicides in 2020, and may reach a level not seen in more than a decade by the end of the year, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore told the outlet that as of Saturday, the 266 homicides to date represent a nearly 25% increase over the same period last year and surpassed the total homicides in all of 2019. The year 2019 saw 253 homicides, the Los Angeles Times reported. In 2018, the city had 260 total homicides.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore says LA is going to reach a grisly milestone this year.
The city will see more than 300 homicides this year—a number it hasn’t reached in more than a decade. https://t.co/LVkMAgATM8
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 20, 2020
Moore predicts that Los Angeles could see more than 300 homicides in 2020, a level not reached since 2009, when there were 312 killings. Moore called the pace of violence in 2020 a “terrible loss” and an “erosion” of progress that had been made reducing gun violence in the city in recent years, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Since the 1980s and 1990s, when Los Angeles had more than 1,000 killings some years, there was reportedly a downward trend in homicides. But in 2020, homicides surged in the summer in South L.A. and in parts of Central L.A., according to the Los Angeles Times. In South L.A., homicides were up by 50% from 2019.
Nonfatal shootings have also reportedly increased. The number of victims of nonfatal shootings was up more than 21% as of Oct. 10, the Los Angeles Times reported. Moore said a variety of factors related to the pandemic helped drive the violence in L.A.
Numerous cities across the country have experienced an uptick of violence. New York City’s shooting totals surpassed those of 2019 in August. (RELATED: NYC Has Already Seen More Shootings This Year Than In All Of 2019)
St. Louis, Missouri matched its total homicide number for all of 2019 in mid-September after a 15-year-old girl was shot to death. In Minneapolis, the crime surge prompted residents to sue the city for failing to adequately staff police.