Cincinnati sees sharp rise in shootings as police seize 750 guns YTD

The city is at a six-year low for violent crime, police say.
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 5:17 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2021 at 4:45 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Homicides and shootings are down in Cincinnati so far this year compared to the same time last year with overall violent crime at a six-year low, police officials said Tuesday.

But, they also disclosed, the city has seen an uptick in shootings with 100 out of the total 183 so far this year reported alone in the past two months, particularly when it comes to juveniles - and that’s with Cincinnati police seizing 750 guns so far this year, 100 more than last year.

Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac and other top police officials made the disclosures before City Council’s Law & Public Safety meeting. They were asked to provide an update on gun violence.

Their remarks at City Hall came after a particularly violent Monday.

It was one that saw the three separate shootings between 11 a.m. and 9:20 p.m. that left a 29-year-old man dead and wounded four people, including a 16-year-old male with life-threatening injuries, according to police.

Despite the Cincinnati Police Department being down 90 officers out of its total compliment of 1,050, the officers on the job are constantly working to take guns off the streets and to track down those responsible for the killings, the chief said.

Police also are working to set up a gun intelligence center in a partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 30 to 45 days, he said.

As of Monday night, 183 shootings were recorded compared with 215 at this time last year.

Most of the shootings so far this year are occurring in Over-the-Rhine, followed by Walnut Hills, the West End, and Avondale.

Homicides so far this year stand at 39, including the man killed in Monday’s triple shooting in East Price Hill, compared to 49 at this point in 2020.

Last year, the city set a new record for the number of homicides with 94, a 28.7% increase from 2019, which saw 73 victims.

Most of the homicides were the result of shootings, police records show.

The previous record in Cincinnati was 88 killings in 2006.

The city has only seen more than 80 homicides in two years: 2006 and 2020, police officials have said.

The city also saw an unprecedented number of shootings last year, with 486 recorded. Twenty-two people were shot in one weekend alone, Aug. 14-16.

Cincinnati saw the two lowest years for gun violence in 2018 and 2019.

Last year, it had a 67% percent closure rate for homicide arrests and is now at 68%, which is above the national average, Assistant Police Chief Lisa Davis told council members.

Sixty-three of 2020′s 94 homicides were closed by either an arrest, death of offender, prosecution declined, or awaiting grand jury presentation, police records show.

Cincinnati is not alone in the rise in violence, particularly during 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic and again so far this year, according to the police department.

Other cities saw a swell in violence last year and again so far this year, including Cleveland and New York City.

On Tuesday, police officials told council members that homicides are up nearly 30% so far this year compared to the same time period last year in 63 cities nationally while Cincinnati has seen a 20% reduction so far this year.

Aggravated assaults also are up 9.4% across those same 63 cities nationally while Cincinnati’s increase is 3.8%.

Overall, violent crime is down 8% from a three-year average.

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