Homicides in Nashville rose to 84 last year, the highest number of killings in the city since 97 people died in 2005, The Tennessean reports. At the same time, the year saw a 40 percent drop in youth killings over 2015, when 20 youths were slain, a total that prompted Mayor Megan Barry to launch an initiative aimed at curbing violence among the city’s young people. Much of the city’s violence in 2015 played out among youths as acts of brutal retaliation for squabbles that police said were once settled by punches instead of bullets.
“Over the last year, Nashville has seen a dramatic decrease in youth homicide victims, and Metro police have worked hard to keep crime in check in 2016, resulting in a slight reduction in the crime rate overall even as our population continues to grow,” said Barry. She called the increase in homicides in Nashville and in other cities last year concerning for all. Memphis set a grim record with 228 homicides in 2016, eclipsing by 15 the previous record of 213 set in 1993. Nashville’s all-time high for homicides was 112 in 1997.