A year-end surge of fatal shootings pushed Washington, D.C.’s homicide count for 2014 over 100 for the second consecutive year since the city hit a half-century low of 88 in 2012, the Washington Post reports. Last month, city officials privately expressed hope that there would be fewer than 100 killings in 2014. Eight people were fatally shot since Dec. 23, including four on Christmas Eve, bringing the total to 105. Street violence remains a significant problem in the District and its suburbs, and there was a grim theme through 2014: killings that were linked to domestic and family violence. Within that category is an even grimmer statistic: An unusual number of infants and young children were slain, most by a parent or caregiver.
In Washington, at least 17 of last year's victims were killed by relatives or others close to them, up from 12 in 2013 and nine in 2012. Four of the victims were 3 years old or younger. Other cities are confronting different trends in violent crime. In New York, the number of homicides continued to fall, reaching a little more than 320. With a population of about 8.4 million, that puts its per capita rate among the nation’s lowest. It's the equivalent of 25 killings in a city the size of Washington. The number of homicides remained steady in Philadelphia, rose in Boston (ending a four-year decline) and fell in Baltimore. Killings edged down in Chicago, although gun violence went up. Violent crime jumped 12 percent in Los Angeles, the first increase in a decade, while the number of killings remained about the same.