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Friday, September 21, 2018

Cleveland is Headed To 100-Plus Homicides for Fifth Year in a Row, and the Police Need Your Help

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2018 at 1:16 PM

  • Photo Courtesy of Tony Webster via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday night marked the most recent deadly shooting in Cleveland after gunfire erupted in the parking lot outside of the Zelma George Rec Center during a youth-league football game.

A 15-year-old boy was shot in both legs, and a 21-year-old-man was killed. The man was the eighth homicide since Sunday, including a 94-year-old-woman who was beaten to death during a Slavic Village neighborhood home invasion.

From these eight homicides, only a few arrests have been made, including Dettrick Walker, 18, who was arrested Thursday on charges related to the Sunday murder of Victor Maar II, 35, in the West Park neighborhood.

Earlier this year, we reported that more than 15 percent of the murders of transgender women in 2018 have taken place in Cleveland. In June, we reported a weekend that boasted at least nine shootings.

Forbes lists Cleveland as the ninth most dangerous city in America, we rank ninth in teen gun violence, and the Major Cities Chiefs Association listed us with the fifth highest murder rate per capita in 2017, with four out of every five homicides related to gun violence.

Cleveland tallied 130 homicides in 2017, barely a decrease from the 133 homicides that marked 2016 as one of the deadliest years in the city in decades. So far, Cleveland has 98 homicides for 2018, or an average of one homicide less than every three days. At this rate, we'll reach 134 homicides by the end of the year.

The city is currently two homicides away from its fifth consecutive year of 100 homicides or more. This is the first time this has happened since the war on drugs in the 1990s.

At a press conference today, the Cleveland Police addressed the rash of violence over the last week, and identified that the police were working diligently to bring these homicides to justice.

Deputy Chief, Harold Pretel, opened the conference noting that the crimes have been committed on both Cleveland's east and west sides, and that there have been enhanced efforts in response to the violence. "We're turning over every stone, we're doing everything we can, but we need the public's assistance," he said.

While there haven't been arrests made in many of these homicides, they have identified persons of interest and are continuing their investigations, according to Lieutenant Pillow.

The FBI and Crime Stoppers are offering $7,500 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction for any of these cases. There are two FBI special agents and investigative analysts assigned to Cleveland's homicide unit.

Cleveland Police continued to stress the importance of public assistance and support in bringing these cases to justice.

"We need any information, no matter how small it might be," Pillow said. "It might be the piece we need to close this case. If you saw something, if you think you know something, call us."

You can provide any tips to Crime Stoppers by calling (216) 252-7463.

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