Buried in the story is the fact that as the year has worn on, Washington D.C. is reporting fewer homicides this year than at the same time last year.
Homicides in the District are up by more than half in the first six months of the year. But unlike the days when drive-by shootings and feuds among drug gangs propelled the deadly violence, the current uptick is the result of a spike in domestic killings behind closed doors that have contributed to more female homicide victims already than in all of 2013.
Through Monday, the city recorded 59 homicides — up sharply from the 38 at the same point last year. The figure marks a drastic departure from a generally downward trend in killings in the nation’s capital over the past decade and from declines in other big cities so far this year.
“Domestic violence is our biggest challenge in terms of homicides,” said D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier.
Eleven women were killed in 2013, but this year’s homicide count already includes 12 women. So far this year, women account for 20.3 percent of the city’s homicide victims — a higher percentage at the midway mark than for any full year in at least the past decade.
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