It was an exceptionally violent weekend in Detroit. Twenty-seven people shot. Three died. Despite marked improvements in the city over the last several years, an especially serious problem remains: gun violence, says the Detroit Free Press. City officials say that while crime in general is on the decline, the number of shootings is unacceptable. They say they’re working to connect with neighborhoods and coordinate within the justice system to make people believe that if they shoot somebody, they’ll go to prison.
“We are down significantly in every category except gun violence, which is, of course, what’s on people’s minds,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “A great majority of shootings are people who have beefs with each other and are using guns to settle those beefs.” (Police Chief James Craig said “urban terrorists” shot attendees at a block party, the Detroit News reported.) The crime was worse than normal in a city that’s averaging 17.6 nonfatal shootings and 5.2 homicides per week this year. The weekend’s fatal shootings spread across three major Detroit areas on the first official weekend of summer, a season when violence can be expected to increase. As of June 21, Detroit police recorded 129 homicides this year to date, a number falling between the past two years’ data. By this time in 2014, there had been 116 homicides reported; in 2013, there had been 146.