The Metropolitan Police Department will get a handle on a spike in homicides, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Thursday, as the District has averaged about one murder per day for the past week.
"This is a spike that is unusual for us, even though it is the beginning of summer, but we will get it under control," Lanier said. "We're making good progress. We'll have some closures here in the next couple of days."
Sixty-five homicides have been committed in the District so far in 2015, marking more than a 20 percent increase compared with the same time last year.
As News4 reported, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Kevin Donahue attributed the spike in crime in part to the use of synthetic drugs. "We know that when we arrest people for violent crimes, almost 40 percent have synthetic drugs in their system," he said.
Adding to the homicide count, the man found burned beyond recognition in the Trinidad neighborhood of D.C. Tuesday morning had been fatally shot, police said in an update Thursday.
The body found in a burning trashcan on the 1200 block of Holbrook Terrace NE was that of a black man who has not been identified, police said. The
"We've been out in the neighborhood, talking with the community, and right now we're following up on a couple leads," Lanier said.
Neighbors said the alley where the fire and body were found about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday are frequently used by prostitutes and their clients. Sources said police are looking into the possibility the victim had a connection to prostitution.
Several surveillance cameras trained on the alley may also lead to a suspect.
Another man was shot early Thursday, at 16th and Galen streets SE. Stephon Marquis Perkins, 21, was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but later died from his injuries, police said.
The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia. Anyone with information about these cases is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411.