Decreases in Gun, Domestic Violence, at Forefront of 6-month Homicide Decline

DC has recorded a 19 percent drop in homicides in the first half of 2012, compared to the first half of 2011, according to data collected and analyzed by Homicide Watch DC.

The homicide data also shows a significant decrease in gun violence and domestic violence, compared to last year. Meanwhile, a greater proportion of homicides have resulted from fatal stabbings.

About 51 percent of all homicides last year were reported in the first six months of the year. If that percentage were to hold true in 2012, the year would end with 88 homicides.

2012 Homicides in DC

Here’s 2012 by the numbers:

A total of 45 violent deaths have been reported in DC this year. MPD is recording 43 of those as homicides, excluding the deaths of Stephen Horsley and Dalontray Williams because their cases were determined to be “justified homicide by citizen.”

Out of the 45 reported homicides, 17 cases have been closed with at least one arrest.

The youngest homicide victim this year is Kuron Rashad Hunt, who died after being delivered to an injured mother.

The year has been particularly deadly for the very young: in addition to Hunt, Keyontae Osbia Moore, aged 20 months, and an unidentified baby, believed to be have possibly been a newborn, have been victims of homicide.

The oldest victim this year is Gary Dederichs, who was 66. Dederichs was visiting from Denver, Co. when he was killed in a Petworth alley.

The deadliest age this year is 21. Eleven of the 45 victims this year have been 18- to 21-years-old.

School age teens have been spared this year; apart from the 18- and 19- year-old victims, there have not been any teen homicide victims. Eleven youths aged 18 and under were killed in all of last year.

Five of the 45 victims this year have been women, representing eleven percent of all homicides. That’s the same proportion of all homicide victims last year.

Three cases have been classified as domestic violence homicides: Keyontae Osbia Moore, Lamont Antonio Devore, and Yolanda Stone. Domestic violence homicides represent six percent of all homicides this year. That’s an improvement over last year when about 12 percent of all homicides were determined to be domestic violence cases.

Gun violence has decreased as a cause of homicide this year compared to last. In the first six months of 2012, 25 homicides, or 55 percent of all violent deaths, were cause by shootings. Last year, 72 percent of all homicides were due to gun violence.

Stabbings, though, have increased. While 20 percent of deaths last year were due to stabbing, 26 percent this year have been related to stab wounds.

Most of the victims lived and/or died in Southeast DC. Nineteen victims lived there before they were killed and 21 of the reported homicides this year have occurred in Southeast DC. Ten victims lived in Northeast DC and 18 of the reported homicides this year occurred there. Six homicides have been in Northwest DC.

The decrease of homicides compared to the same time period last year could be the result of a less violent spring: in April and May 16 homicides were reported in DC this year, compared to 23 the year before.

Interested in knowing more? See 2011’s Year in Review Homicide by the Numbers and our Year in Charts.

Homicide Watch DC Intern Rebecca Zisser contributed to this report.

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