D.C. Has Surpassed 100 Homicides In 2020 D.C. saw seven homicides over the weekend, including one victim who died from a gunshot wound early Monday morning, bringing the year's total to 101.
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D.C. Has Surpassed 100 Homicides In 2020

D.C. passed 100 homicides over the weekend. Tony Higsett/Flickr hide caption

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Tony Higsett/Flickr

After a homicide in Fort Davis on Sunday, the District officially passed 100 homicides this year, according to Metropolitan Police Department data.

At approximately 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, police found 58-year-old Paul Lewis Butler suffering from blunt force trauma inside a residence on the 3900 block of S Street, SE, according to a release from MPD. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

D.C. saw seven homicides over the weekend, including one victim who died from a gunshot wound early Monday morning, bringing the year's total to 101, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said during a press conference.

"I think it's disturbing to all of us to be over 100 homicides at this point in the year," Newsham said.

The homicide rate year-to-date marks a 23% increase from 2019, according to D.C. police data. At this time last year, the city had recorded 81 homicides, and ended the year with 166.

The city also reached the number earlier than in recent years. In 2019, the city recorded its 100th homicide of that year on August 23, and one year prior, D.C. reached that number on that year on August 5.

The news comes after 11-year-old Davon McNeal was shot and killed during a community cookout in Southeast D.C. on the Fourth of July. Police have arrested and charged two men, and are still looking for two other suspects.

Newsham cited "repeat violent gun offenders being released back into our community" as a reason for the homicides.

Last week, following large-scale protests against police brutality and calls to defund the police department, the D.C. Council voted to reallocate funds from the Metropolitan Police Department to programs involved in violence interruption and prevention.

"The work of violence interruption at its core is about reaching those who are most likely to either commit a violent crime or be the victim of one. It's very relationship-focused work," Ward 6 council member Charles Allen, who chairs the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, told DCist/WAMU at the time. "We know most violent crime is committed by a small percentage of vulnerable residents. If we can reach these folks and offer them a way out, we will prevent more senseless gun violence."

In March, Mayor Muriel Bowser also signed legislation temporarily banning kits to make homemade firearms, known as ghost guns, after an increase in the number of those guns recovered last year.

Until recently, homicides in D.C. had significantly decreased over the past two decades, from a high of 262 in 2002, to a low of 88 in 2012. But the numbers have largely gone up since then.

Violent crime overall, however, is down 8% from this time last year, according to D.C. police data.

This story was originally published on DCist.

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