Washington, D.C., reported 103 homicides last year, a sharp increase from the half-century low of 88 in 2012, the Washington Post reports. That included twelve killed in a mass shooting at the Navy Yard. The total casts light on a persistent crime problem in one area of the city — along the volatile border with Maryland — where most of the Washington area's killings occur. (The Homicide Watch D.C. website listed the total as 105.)
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the District is continuing a long-term trend of reductions in killings and violent crime. Homicides in the city are down considerably from the 248 a decade ago and the 454 in 1993. “I want it to go down,” Lanier said of the homicide count. “But I don't think from where we are looking today that we should be sounding the alarm. Violence is actually going down, and we're going to push the homicides down.” Elsewhere, homicides continued to decline in cities such as New York — which recorded 319 slayings as of Dec. 22, a 20 percent drop from 2012, giving that city one of the nation’s lowest per-capita rates. Killings in Chicago dropped 20 percent, and the number in Philadelphia plunged 38 percent.