LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville ended 2020 with a record 173 homicides, and so far, the violence has continued into 2021.
According to data from the Louisville Metro Police Department, there were nine homicides in January 2020. In January 2021, that number doubled, closing out the month with 18.
"These are really high numbers," community activist Christopher 2X said. "The appetite to be a part of these violent shootings is just real."
LMPD said in addition to the 18 homicides, there have been 54 non-fatal shootings so far in 2021.
"It's really disheartening that the homicide rate and the non-fatal shootings are up so high," said Beth Ruoff, an LMPD spokesperson. "It's really difficult for us to see, especially the young shootings. There's been a lot of children that have been shot and caught in the cross fire of these shootings."
Ruoff said in November 2020, division detectives once again began investigating non-fatal, criminal shootings, taking that task off of the Homicide Unit.
"Since then, we have seen a clearance rate that has improved," she said. "We can't necessarily attribute it just to that one factor."
Police and community activists both are hoping January is not a sign of what's to come for the rest of the year.
"It's hard to predict, to be quite frank with you," 2X said. "But 18 starting off the year is not a good sign."
"We certainly hope that's not going to be the case," Ruoff said. "Each homicide is a tragedy."
Ruoff said of the 18 homicides so far this year, six have been cleared, meaning they've led to a suspect or arrest. She said there are still several cases from 2020 that need answers. She is asking the public to come forward if they know anything about a fatal or non-fatal shooting in the city. The public can reach out at the tip line, 574-LMPD.
Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.