MILWAUKEE (AP) — Three fatal shootings during the weekend in Milwaukee have added to the city’s homicide rate which hasn’t been this high since 1991.
According to Milwaukee police, there were 165 homicides reported from Jan. 1 to Nov. 5 in 2020. That is far up from 82 homicides during the same time period in 2019, WTMJ-TV reported.
Authorities say the latest victim, a 38-year-old woman, died Sunday about 8 p.m. after witnesses reported hearing a male and female arguing and then a gunshot.
Shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday, police say a 28-year-old man was shot and killed as he was trying to run away from two people investigators believe were trying to rob him.
Around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed on the city’s north side, according to police.
Community advocates blame the surge in homicides on the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s created food insecurity, housing insecurity, unemployment and a lot of instability in families,” said Reggie Moore, the director of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention. “So the conditions that we traditionally see where we see concentrations of violence has now affected communities across the city.”
Moore points out it’s not just a problem in Milwaukee. Researchers with the Council on Criminal Justice studied 27 cities and found homicide rates among increased by 53 percent from June to August 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019.