Homicides in Detroit are up 15 percent from the same time last year and are on pace to reach the highest per-capita rates in a decade when the city’s declining population is factored into the equation, reports the Detroit News. The city logged 182 homicides as of July 10. If the projections hold, the city could record 350 homicides this year. That compares with the 366 homicides recorded in 2003. At that time, Detroit had at least another 205,000 people than today.
Police Chief Ralph Godbee attributed some of the violence to the usual struggles facing urban areas — narcotics and gang activities. What’s troublesome this year, he said, is how people are resorting more to firearms in quarrels, and the number of victims of their own “risky behavior.” The brutal nature of the crimes is chilling, like the death of a young girl whose charred remains were found in an abandoned home early Sunday. “Nothing justifies a person losing their life,” the chief said, noting that most of the homicides are not the result of “random acts of violence.” Violence is so bad that the Detroit Public Schools are working on a security plan for class reunions after two people were shot June 26 at a high school reunion picnic.