Staggering total comes on the heels of a violent 2016 in the city. “The national trend doesn’t look good,” said sociologist Jay Corzine of the University of Central Florida. “It’s pointing to, in large urban areas, more violence and more lethal violence.”
Seventy-five people were killed or wounded by gunfire in New Orleans in the first month of the year – more than twice the total in January 2016, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. The staggering total, more than two a day, comes on the heels of a violent 2016 that saw increases in murders and nonfatal shootings. The total includes victims of a double shooting last night that police said left two dead outside a high school. Yesterday’s killings raised January’s murder tally to 22, the highest since January 2012, when 25 people were killed. All but three homicides this year have been confirmed as caused by gunshots.
While too early to draw conclusions on the rest of the year, criminologists say New Orleans’ rising gun violence is evidence of a troubling trend playing out in cities across the nation. Baltimore had 25 killings in the first 26 days of the year, said The Baltimore Sun. “The national trend doesn’t look good,” said Jay Corzine, a sociology professor at the University of Central Florida. “It’s pointing to, in large urban areas, more violence and more lethal violence. Right now, nobody has a good handle on it.” New Orleans Deputy Police Chief Paul Noel expressed hope that the police department’s continued partnership with state and federal law enforcement agencies and the institution of a city-wide public safety plan announced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu last month should bring down violence.