LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- 2020 was a record year for homicides in the Louisville, and the first seven days of January 2021 ended with four more.
According to data from Louisville Metro Police, the first week of 2021 is on track to top last year's record of 173.
"What's concerning, to be quite frank with you, it seems like a continuum of 2020," said community activist Christopher 2X with Louisville's Game Changers organization. "In honest, some shootings have become an addiction. That might be kind of hard for some people to grasp, but equally at the same time, one wonders what takes the mindsets to those kind of extremes."
LMPD said there have been more than a dozen non-fatal shootings since the start of the year. Spokesperson Beth Ruoff said division detectives began investigating criminal shootings in November 2020, taking that workload off homicide detectives.
"The police officers had hoped that 2021 was going to be a new year where we would see a decrease in this. Obviously, this is not going to be the case," she said. "Homicide previously was investigating those criminal shootings on top of the homicide cases. So we're hoping that sending those shootings back to the division level allows those homicide detectives a chance to do the job they are there for — to solve these homicide cases."
Ruoff said cases LMPD has been successful in solving have been, in large part, due to people coming forward.
"We need help from the community to stop this and to help us solve these cases and to go after the people in our community that need to be prosecuted," she said.
As for 2021, Louisville didn't make it a single day without its first homicide. LMPD said police were contacted by MetroSafe about an 18-year-old man who had been killed in the 6200 block of Shepherdsville Road before 5 a.m. on Jan. 1.
The second homicide, according to LMPD, was on Jan. 4, when a woman in 20s was dropped off at Norton Hospital downtown after being shot.
Police said there were two more homicides on Jan. 7 from what is believed to be unrelated shootings in the Shawnee neighborhood. They both happened around 5:45 p.m.
"It is just tragic that so much violence is occurring and last night shows what is going on in this city," Ruoff said.
LMPD's incoming chief, Erika Shields, who takes over on Jan. 19, has said one of her focuses for Louisville will be tackling gun violence. 2X said he met with Shields and families of homicide victims to talk about moving forward for a less violent future.
"She was sincere, at least in that conversation, about it's unacceptable," 2X said. "She feels it has got to be a top priority. We tried to emphasize to her it had to be a top priority because of the amount of children that are being impacted by this indirectly."
Police are asking for anyone with information about any homicide case to come forward or call the anonymous tip line at 574-LMPD.
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