The stories behind the 2012 homicides in Kansas City

Most murder victims and most murder suspects were between the ages of 17 and 24 years old. That’s among the findings of an analysis of 2012 homicides delivered by the police chief.

Kansas City closed the year of 2012 with 108 homicides, six fewer than 2011 but in line with the rate for about the last decade.

Police Chief Darryl Forté addressed the matter in a blog he posted Thursday, explaining who the victims were and his plans to stop other murders.

From his blog:

The youngest victim was 5-month-old Zavion Dunmore, who died from child abuse, and the oldest was Donna Pike, 62, killed along with her son and a handyman at their home at 39th Street and the Paseo.

Guns continue to be the main means of death, used in 83 percent of the murders.

Anger management was cited as a motive in 22 percent of the deaths; domestic violence and robberies led to eight deaths each; and police are certain that four were drug related.

Black males were two thirds of the victims and 69 percent of the known suspects. The highest number of deaths was in the 17-24 year old age group.

The hot spot policing this year at four of the city’s most violence prone areas had an effect, reducing deaths there to 40 percent of the homicides as opposed to 52 percent in 2011.

That will continue and police hope the new Kansas City No Violence Alliance effort will also significantly cut homicides this year.

Under that effort, police and prosecutors target offenders to send the most violent to prison and work with social workers and others to get the remaining criminals out of crime.

Forté said police will also continue strong efforts to build relationships and trust in them within the community.

Police have much progress to make, according to a Wednesday Kansas City Star article. It reported that the city homicide rate last year was 23 homicides per 100,000 residents, compared to 19 per 100,000 in Chicago and far lower rates in Denver and Indianapolis. The rate in New York City last year stood at just 3.5 per 100,000 residents.


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