Metro addresses high homicide rate - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Metro addresses high homicide rate

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The side of a Las Vegas Metro police vehicle is shown at the scene of a shooting investigation on Feb. 16, 2016. (Armando Navarro/FOX5) The side of a Las Vegas Metro police vehicle is shown at the scene of a shooting investigation on Feb. 16, 2016. (Armando Navarro/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Las Vegas Metro police said they have investigated 157 homicides so far in 2016. It matches a 20-year high in homicide cases and is approaching the highest number on record for Metro, which was 167 in 1996.

Julie Jimenez told FOX5 her boyfriend, Jose De Jesus, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting May. It was one of many homicides from this year.

“It breaks my heart, because who would do this to him,” Jimenez said.

Lt. Dan McGrath, of Las Vegas Metro police, said “everybody should be concerned about this number and the level of violence.”

McGrath said he didn’t see any specific trends in the number, but said the most disturbing part of the increase is the amount of younger suspects.

“We’ve arrested teenagers, like, I counted this morning there were 11 people between the ages of 15 and 19 that we’ve arrested for murder,” McGrath said.

McGrath said in many cases the deadly crimes are hard to prevent without the public’s help and that’s why Metro plans to continue its work in the community.

“Any efforts we put into the community policing is going to help us solve these crimes and help us build relationships,” McGrath said.

Now, Metro’s homicide unit is expanding to keep up with the sharp rise in deadly crimes. The section added two members in July and will be adding four more in the next couple weeks.

“We’re getting an increase in staffing in the homicide section to keep up with the follow-up and some of the things we have to do after the fact to solve these cases,” McGrath said.

In the final month of the year, Metro said they are hoping there are less cases to solve.

“We would hope that there would be no more homicides for the rest of the year; that would be our hope,” McGrath said.

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