D.C. police chief Peter Newsham addressed the media as the District concluded its deadliest year in more than a decade.
With less than one day remaining in 2019, 166 people in D.C. had been homicide victims. That's a slight increase over the 160 people killed in the District in 2018.
The last time more people were killed in D.C. was 2008, when 186 people were homicide victims.
"We're doing everything we possibly can to put an end to this violence," Newsham said.
The police chief said the overall violent crime rate is low despite population growth in the District. The Metropolitan Police Department's primary focus is on "removing illegal firearms from our neighborhoods," he said.
"Ideally, our homicide rate should be at zero," Newsham said.
The police chief conveyed his condolences to the families of all victims.
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