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Homicides In Richmond Down From Last Year

Richmond Police Chief Will Smith speaks before Richmond City Council earlier this year.
Richmond Police Chief Will Smith speaks before Richmond City Council earlier this year. (Crixell Matthews/VPM)

The number of homicides in the City of Richmond is down from last year, but it’s still higher than the historic low eleven years ago. 

Police Chief Will Smith gave the department’s yearly update to City Council on Tuesday afternoon, saying 46 people were murdered in Richmond as of Oct. 15. That’s compared to 54 last year and 66 in 2017. Those numbers are far greater than the 32 homicides reported in Richmond in 2008.

Smith told the council that there’s no one reason for the increase.

“You have some random events that are just horrible luck,” Smith said. “I look to Markiya Dixon as a prime example. Certainly, our domestic-related homicides tend to follow that trend as well.”

Data released by RPD shows that the leading causes of homicides this year were robbery and arguments. The data also showed young people were affected the worst by the violence, with people between the ages of 19 and 35 the most likely to be both the victims and perpetrators.

Smith said the agency is working to bring on staff focused on conflict resolution and mental health referrals.

“We have more engagements with the community than just about any other agency,” he said. “If we have that resource and that availability of referral, then that gives us a much greater capacity.” 

Richmond police have only solved about 41 percent of 46 homicides this year, down from 55 percent last year. Smith says that number is expected to go up as more cases are taken to court before the end of the year.

You can see Smith’s full report on homicides in Richmond  here.