Half Of Pittsburgh Killings Unsolved In Deadliest Year Since 2008


More than half of all killings in Pittsburgh went unsolved in 2014, the city's deadliest year since 2008, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Why were there so many killings? And why are so few solved? Pittsburgh recorded 66 killings in 2014, according to statistics kept by the Allegheny County medical examiner's office. That's more than any year since 2008, when officials counted 79. “The most pervasive fact is that a lot of this is tied to the drug trade,” said Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, who noted that police were finding more evidence of heroin and cheap drug sales on the street.

Also contributing to the violence, he said, were a large number of 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds “running around with guns ripping off drug dealers, that type of thing.” He said officials aren't sure where the guns are coming from but have been holding meetings on the subject. Of the 66 homicides, 37 were unsolved. That places the city's clearance rate at about 44 percent, roughly 20 percent below the national average for 2013. “Just in the numbers themselves, it's telling you that there is a problem in the system,” said Rashad Byrdsong, founder of the non-profit Community Empowerment Association.

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