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Editor's note: The rate of homicides in Detroit per 100,000 people has been corrected to 40.4.

Detroit — The city will end 2019 with a slight uptick in homicides over last year, although it will likely record fewer than 300 killings for only the fourth time since 1967, according to police statistics.

As of Thursday, there were 271 homicides recorded in Detroit, up from 259, or 5%, during the same period last year, Detroit police officials said. There were 764 nonfatal shootings, up 3% from 739 in 2018, according to police.

The number of slayings so far this year in Detroit, which has about 670,000 residents, translates to a rate of about 40.4 homicides per 100,000 people.

The overall violent crime drop of 4% was driven in part by a 20% reduction in carjackings, which dropped from 300 to 240 as of Thursday, police chief James Craig said.

A recent wave of gang violence caused the homicide and nonfatal shooting numbers to go up, the chief said.

"We had a pretty nasty uptick in shootings about a month ago," Craig said. "We found that three gangs were largely responsible. Strategically, we were able to quell the violence by working closely with what I call street advocates — former gang members who have tremendous influence on the streets.

"Going into 2020, we’re going to continue that strategy," Craig said. "It's important to have the right individuals on the ground who have influence to those prone to engage in gang activity or shootings."

Other crime statistics in Detroit as of Thursday include:

  • Carjackings: 240, down from 300 in 2018
  • Aggravated assaults: 9,304, down from 9,821 in 2018
  • Robberies: 2,300, up from 2,262 in 2018
  • Sexual assault: 853, down from 879 in 2018

Eugene Owens. a 72-year-old resident of the city's west side, said crime in his neighborhood near Southfield and Schoolcraft this year has been "about the same, if not going up a little bit."

"There's a Mobil gas station in my neighborhood where they've been dealing drugs for years," Owens said. "I hear about a lot of problems over that way: robberies, car thefts. It's notorious."

This year's violence included two shootings on Christmas morning.

In one of the incidents, about 10:39 a.m., the driver of a white SUV pulled in front of a house on the 14800 block of Terry on Detroit's west side and opened fire.

"Several shots were fired inside the living room, striking two victims," according to a Detroit police press release. "Both victims and four witnesses were inside the residence when the shooting occurred," the release said. 

The witnesses were not injured, although a 30-year-old woman was shot in the right forearm, and a 53-year-old woman suffered two gunshot wounds to the body. Both women are expected to survive. 

Another shooting occurred about 11 a.m. Wednesday on the 12300 block of Wilshire on Detroit's east side.

"A 33 year-old victim was involved in an argument with the suspect that escalated into a physical altercation," the Detroit police press release said. "The suspect fired a single shot, striking the victim in the ankle.

"(The) victim was conveyed privately to the hospital and is listed in stable condition," the release said.

ghunter@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2134

Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN

Criminal homicides in Detroit

2019: 271*

2018: 261

2017: 267

2016: 302

2015: 295

2014: 300

2013: 333

2012: 386

2011: 344

2010: 308

2009: 364

2008: 342

2007: 392

2006: 354

2005: 374

2004: 387

2003: 369

2002: 402

2001: 395

2000: 396

1999: 415

1998: 430

1997: 469

1996: 428

1995: 475

1994: 541

1993: 579

1992: 595

1991: 615

1990: 582

1989: 624

1988: 630

1987: 686

1986: 648

1985: 635

1984: 514

1983: 581

1982: 515

1981: 502

1980: 549

1979: 451

1978: 498

1977: 478

1976: 662

1975: 607

1974: 714

1973: 672

1972: 601

1971: 577

1970: 495

1969: 439

1968: 389

1967: 281

* As of Dec. 26, 2019

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