More people have been homicide victims in D.C. so far this year than in any year since 2003.
D.C.’s homicide count hit 200 on Monday, with several weeks still remaining in 2021. The District’s homicide count hasn’t reached 200 in 18 years, when it was 248 for all of 2003.
A man was found shot in a gas station parking lot late Monday in the 4700 block of South Capitol Street SE, police said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. His name was not immediately released.
The majority of D.C. homicide victims were shot.
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Many Washingtonians can remember a more violent city. D.C.’s homicide count in the 1990s was more than double what it is now, with a high of 479 people killed in 1991, MPD data shows.
The DC Police Union issued a statement on the homicide count, sounding an alarm about crime rates and criticizing the D.C. Council for efforts to reduce police funding.
More than 400 officers have left the police department since June 2020, the union said.
“Police officers are hamstrung, if not altogether unable to do the impactful and necessary tasks needed to confiscate illegal weapons, apprehend violent criminals and protect communities,” the union said.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a message to residents last week, “Your safety is my number one priority.”
“I want you to know that we will curb the number of guns in our community; arrest people using guns in our community; and work with all our partners to make sure we are preventing crime before it happens, but also holding people accountable who are making communities less safe for women, our children, our brothers and sons, and our families,” the mayor's message said. “We are throwing every resource at the rise in violent crime in DC, and we will keep pushing on all fronts until we see positive results.”
In a recent interview with the News4 I-Team, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee called reducing gun violence his top priority.
"I want to get guns off the street, and I want to get violent people off the street," he said.
The number of people shot in the District is down year over year, but shootings have been deadlier because of increased firepower from long guns and trigger switches, Contee said.
With some of the toughest gun laws in the country, D.C. police have taken more than 1,900 guns off streets this year.
Correction (Nov. 23, 2021, 1:20 p.m. ET): D.C. police initially published incorrect information on the homicide count for 2004. This story has been updated.