Bucking overall crime trend, area homicides rise

WASHINGTON — Crime is down across the D.C. metro area, but homicides are not.  And it’s not just a big-city problem.

Montgomery and Prince George’s counties both saw roughly 40 percent increases in homicides in 2015, according to The Washington Post.  D.C. saw a 54 percent increase killings, while Baltimore had a 63 percent increase, in its deadliest year per capita, The Baltimore Sun reports.

Montgomery County had 30 homicides in 2015, up from 18 in 2014. The Post reports that it was the deadliest year in the county in two decades.

Prince George’s County saw 81 homicides, up from 54 in 2014 but still below the triple-digit figures seen in recent years.

Officials told the paper there isn’t a specific reason for the uptick in killings in Maryland; however, they say they have seen more seemingly petty arguments end with a killing.

Some examples in Prince George’s County included a man dying after an argument over a lawn mower and another man being killed after a fight over a parking spot.

In Montgomery County, officials are concerned about several killings that were connected to a return of the gang MS-13.

But while the Maryland suburbs have seen large increases, the Virginia suburbs have been relatively quiet.

There were a total of 32 homicides in Northern Virginia in 2015, with 12 happening in Fairfax County and 11 in Prince William County. That compares to 27 in 2014.

Prince William had the largest increase, with five additional homicides; Fairfax County saw two more.

Alexandria had four killings, Loudoun County three and Arlington County one — all the same as 2014.

Leesburg had one homicide in 2015, down from two in 2014, and Manassas didn’t have any in 2015 after having one in 2014.

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