FBI Report Shows Lubbock Leads the Region in Homicides - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/25/07

FBI Report Shows Lubbock Leads the Region in Homicides

Lubbock leads the region in murder rates. That's part of a new FBI report released Tuesday that has compiled violent crime statistics.

Thirteen homicides were committed in Lubbock in 2006. NewsChannel 11 compared that with cities our size in the region. In Abilene and Amarillo there were five each and in Midland/Odessa there were seven.

So Lubbock leads the region, but then NewsChannel 11 took a look at Arlington in the Metroplex. That's a city of over 373,000 and they had 14 homicides last year, just one more than Lubbock but obviously much bigger. Lubbock's population is just over 200,000.

This report comes out just three days after the total number of homicides in Lubbock for 2007 grew to 15. And just five days after Police Chief Claude Jones told NewsChannel 11, the city was safe.

"In reality crime is low in 2006 and the first seven months this year is also low," says Chief Jones.

In an interview with NewsChannel 11 just last week Lubbock Police Chief Claude Jones said crime rates were down and stated that overall Lubbock is safe. The very next day, John Wilkerson was shot to death in his driveway and one day later Jack Stanfield II was strangled.

Those crimes bring the total number of homicides to 15 with three months still left in the year.

"A lot of homicides involve risky behavior, involve drugs, which is risky behavior. Prostitution is another type of risky behavior. And of course domestic violence, things that were in the home, there's really no way to patrol against that," says Chief Jones.

NewsChannel 11 discovered out of the 15 homicides only five of the victims did not know their alleged killer or the case remains unsolved. The victims in the other 10 homicides personally knew their alleged killers.

"There are things we can't resolve. Personal issues between two people behind closed doors are sometimes where homicides go," says Chief Jones.

So while the number of homicides committed in Lubbock seems high at first glance, Chief Jones says it's important to know the circumstances of the actual crime.

"All in all, Lubbock is a safe community. A lot of good people live here," says Chief Jones.

NewsChannel 11 went through 10 years of crime reports to see if crime really has increased in Lubbock. In the last 10 years, 2003 and 2004 were the most active for violent crime, there were 16 homicides in both of those years. The lowest year was in 1997 with six homicides.

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