Tulsa Violence Rising, Blamed Partly on Gun-Toting Youths

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Gun-toting youths in Tulsa are being blamed in part a violent crime surge, the Tulsa World reports. “I’m looking at the ones that make absolutely no sense, like the one who shoots his partner through the trunk of the car,” said police homicide Sgt. Dave Walker, citing the a 19-year-old who said he accidentally shot his 16-year-old partner while the two were allegedly burglarizing a neighborhood. “If he didn’t have a gun, then it would have been a larceny report,” Walker said.

In the past two years, the number of reported violent crimes — homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults — has increased 38 percent in Tulsa. Led by Tulsa’s modern-day-record number of homicides, reports of violent crime jumped both in 2015 and 2016. The homicide pace hasn’t shown any signs of slowing this year. With 71 homicides reported thus far in 2017, Tulsa may eclipse the record 82 homicides that were reported in 2016. The 439 rapes that were recorded in 2016 in Tulsa is the largest single-year number reported since at least 1985. The number of rapes reported in 2016 in Tulsa was 20 percent more than reported in 2015 and is nearly double the number reported in 2000. Police attribute the increase in part to more victims coming forward, rather than an occurrence of more crime. Robberies, which had been on the decline in Tulsa for five years, also increased from 854 to 1,088, a 27 percent rise from 2015 to 2016.

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