CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department shared the city's crime stats for the first three months of this year Wednesday morning.
One number that stuck out is the number of homicides the department has investigated -- 33 in just 93 days.
There were 11 homicides at this same time last year.
The year before that, which was one of the worst in recent memory, there were 25.
First quarter crime stats:
- Overall crime: Up 4.6 percent
- Property crime: Up 3.4 percent
- Violent crime: Up 11 percent
- Aggravated assaults: Up 11.8 percent
Many of this year’s homicides are tied to guns in the hands of teenagers. Channel 9 went through all of the 33 killings and found in some cases, the suspects and the victims weren’t even out of high school.
Babies, teenagers and adults have all died.
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When violence erupted again last week, a young mother driving to nursing school was killed on North Tryon Street when she was caught in the crossfire of a gunfight.
CMPD has been involved in two deadly shootings, including the death of Danquirs Franklin, who was shot and killed outside a Burger King on Beatties Ford last month.
The rise in crime is especially frustrating for officers who were encouraged by a drop in crime last year -- 2018 ended with fewer violent crimes, rapes, robberies, burglaries, arson cases, car break-ins, property crimes and homicides.
Officer said they are working with various groups in the community to turn the numbers around.
"It’s not just about the numbers. It’s about the victims of these crimes, and I think we all feel responsible for that and accountable to it. But again, we need to community’s help," said Deputy Chief Coerte Voorhees.
Chief Kerr Putney also spoke about the need to gain the trust particularly of young people in the community to prevent disputes from escalating to gunfire and senseless deaths.
Many of the shooting victims have been teenagers and young adults, who would rather get revenge than work with police to stop the cycle of violence.
“If you’re not going to help us bring people to justice, we’re going to have a lot of families who are suffering and will never get closure,” Putney said.
If you’re not going to help us bring people to justice, we’re going to have a lot of families who are suffering and will never get closure,” Putney said.
“We have to all get together to be proactive to deal with this problem in Charlotte,” said Charles Robenson, with One Time, Inc.
Robenson’s group helps teenagers teetering on the edge of a violent lifestyle.
“You have children that are going to school and going to sleep at night hungry, going to school hungry and you kick them out of school, and you're creating another public enemy,” Robenson said. “Why are we doing this? It's a terrible cycle.”
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