LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville is seeing a surge in shootings and homicides in 2020, referenced by Thursday alone, when three people were shot and killed in the city.
According to data from the Louisville Metro Police Department and new numbers, homicides are up 44%.
"It's devastating," said Christopher 2X, who leads the group Game Changers.
2X said Thursday's homicides at South Fifth and Liberty streets, Poplar Level Road and South 35th Street and West Broadway brings Louisville's total number this year to at least 62. That's compared to a reported 43 murders around this time last year.
"What is really troubling the month of June to date — unless we can come up with some numbers that can challenge it — is the highest month to date for shootings in the Metro," 2X said. "Nearly 70 individuals got hit by gunfire."
University Hospital's Trauma Center said June has so far been its busiest month on record. Doctors said they are still analyzing the data, but it appears they are seeing more shooting victims.
"There did seem to be so much gun violence in late-March heading into early-April and May that some of my partners coined the term coronavirus, coronaviolence," said Dr. Brian Harbrecht, medical director of trauma services at University Hospital.
LMPD data shows for the first six months of 2020, Louisville has seen at least 240 non-fatal shootings compared to 117 during the same time in 2019.
"When the governor ordered the shutdown, we thought the pause button was definitely going to go on, that there would be a tick down in these numbers," 2X said. "That there would be a tick down in these numbers. Totally opposite of what's happening."
2X said the gun violence is devastating families and kids who have to deal with the long-term impacts.
"Some kids, unfortunately, because of all the gunfire around them — whether somebody's getting directly hit or just hearing gunfire in their neighborhood — are starting to absorb this stuff like a sponge," he said.
2X said focusing on the children could help put a stop to the violence.
"These neighborhoods are for the purpose of trying to create thriving, habitable environments for kids to feel safe and thrive in a healthy way," he said. "That's what they should be used for, not reckless gun play disputes."
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