D.C. has reached a grim milestone: There have been 200 homicides in the District so far this year, police confirmed to WTOP Tuesday.
According to D.C. police data, the last time the District had this many homicides was 2004.
In 2020, there were 198 homicides. In 2019, there were 166 in the nation’s capital.
WTOP news partner NBC Washington said the 200th homicide was a man found shot and dead at a gas station in Southeast late Monday.
In a statement, D.C. Council member Charles Allen, who represents Ward 6 and chairs the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, called the milestone a “painful marker,” and pressed for action to prevent gun violence.
“It’s a time to remember those family and friends we’ve lost and honor them by taking action to prevent gun violence and save lives,” he said in the statement.
Allen noted that most other types of crime in the District have remained low and that gun violence has been persistent despite D.C.’s strict gun laws, saying it highlights the need for well-rounded and well-coordinated responses.
“At its core, investing in violence prevention and intervention means recognizing gun violence is frequently driven on a very personal, very human level. It’s in everyone’s interest to build communities able to respond to those personal and human motivations by focusing our resources and strategies on the relatively small number of people who commit most gun violence, a strategy that requires far more than relying on policing alone.”
In an earlier news release, the D.C. police union sounded the alarm about increasing crime rates and criticized recent steps taken by the Council.
“Homicides are up 13% over last year’s alarming 20% increase. Some neighborhoods are suffering greatly from this violence. In Ward 4, for example, homicides have increased 89% this year. Armed robberies in Ward 2 are up 188% and in Ward 6 up 72%. Year to date, there have been over 360 carjackings in D.C. Well more than one per day,” the D.C. Police Union said in a statement.
According to the union, more than 400 officers have left the department since June 2020, which means the “total strength of the police department is now below 3,400, the lowest number in decades.”
The union said reforms passed by the D.C. Council last year have left officers “hamstrung.”
“Most of the members who have left cited the Council’s treatment of law enforcement and political rhetoric, which not only makes policing more difficult and therefore less effective, but it also endangers police officers and their families,” the union said.
In neighboring Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan outlined a new plan to deal with crime after Baltimore marked its 300th killing this year.
D.C. police’s year by year homicide stats are online.
*The citywide 2013 homicide statistics include the 12 victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting incident that occurred on Sept. 16, 2013.
WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report.