A spike in domestic-violence killings in 2010 helped push Austin to its highest number of homicides in 13 years, says the Austin American-Statesman. Of the 37 slayings last year, 11 were committed by a family member, roommate, significant other, or ex-spouse, police data say. Only one such homicide occurred in 2009, when there were 22 slayings.
The last time there were more killings in Austin was 1997, when there were 40. The most common motive for homicides in 2010 was random quarrels or revenge-motivated killings, police said. Police Cmdr. Julie O'Brien said such homicides include bar fights and drug deals.In 2010, the race of the victims were almost evenly split among Hispanic, white and black, a drastic difference from 2009, when half of the victims were Hispanic.