With 11 killings (almost a 1/3 of the year’s total), September 2012 was the deadliest month in Richmond in several years. The recent jump in killings might not indicate a sharp rise in violence, however, but may to some degree just be averages evening out over the larger sample size of the year.
Just over a month ago, I looked at the number of shootings in the East End (sector 111 and sector 113) by year going back to the year 2000. My curiosity was based on the fact that we had seen a historically low number of homicides in the area (only 3 through the end of August), and I wanted to know if there had actually been less violence.
It turned out that, while the number of assaults are down for 2012, the number of shootings (even before September) was actually up a little compared to last year and the recent few years. Assuming a connection between the number of shootings and the number of homicides, there were some statistical tendencies to observe: over the 12 year span, there has been on average about a 3 to 1 ratio of shootings to homicides. This year, in the East End up until September, we were seeing an almost 12 to 1 ratio – an incredible number indicating that VCU or luck or both were keeping the homicide rate down.
The East End ended up seeing 4 killings in September, bringing the total for the year for the area to 7. I don’t have the updated information on shootings with numbers from September for sector 113, but the recent sector 111 report for September shows only the fatal shootings, a 1-1 ratio indicating that we have gone from very lucky to very unlucky (but not that there is suddenly a jump in folks trying to kill each other).