Wichita on pace in 2020 to set record for homicides
December 16, 2020
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita has recorded 56 homicides so far this year, just one short of the record set in 1993, Police Chief Gordan Ramsay said.
The increase this year in homicides and violent crime is not unique to Wichita, Ramsay said Tuesday.
"Nothing this year is normal. The increases this year in violent crime is like nothing I have seen," the chief said. "This is not unique to us … All of my colleagues for the most part are seeing the same thing."
Kansas City broke its record for homicides in October and Cincinnati recently set its record. In Lubbock, Texas, the homicide rate has doubled and in Milwaukee it has nearly doubled, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Stresses caused by the coronavirus pandemic could be factors in the increase, the chief said. Those include record high unemployment, closed schools and businesses, increasing domestic violence and the halting of court proceedings.
The chief also said gun violence has surged, noting that Wichita saw a spike in drive-by shootings after the lockdown in March.
About 42 of the deaths have been attributed to guns, while 11 killings involved drugs and 12 were related to domestic violence.
Wichita had 44 homicides in 2018 and 2019, which was the highest since 1995.