The number homicides in Oklahoma City has nearly tripled from this time last year, according to Oklahoma City Police.
In the past 40 years, Oklahoma City has seen about 67 homicides per year on average. Last year, there were 60. Police now say Oklahoma City is on track to hit a higher number going from 2011 to 2012.
Behind each homicide number is a story that captures public interest. The most recent story was that of a mother and daughter who both were shot in northwest Oklahoma City. Police say many of the cases in early 2012 have originated with domestic violence.
So far in 2012, there have been 20 homicides in Oklahoma City. There were 7 during the same time period in 2011.
"It's significantly higher than last year," MSgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City police department said.
Knight says it took until May of 2011 to hit the same number of homicides Oklahoma City has already seen by mid March 2012.
"There's really not a set schedule for these types of events to happen," Knight said. "Unfortunately, we do see spates of them from time to time."
News 9 has covered each of the first 20 homicides for 2012. No matter the case, each of the scenes noticeably change the lives of those left behind who learn the grime news as the crime scene tape goes up.
Police say there is no direct cause to pinpoint why there has been a recent spike in homicides. The department does point out that there were roughly the same amount of people killed 40 years ago when Oklahoma City had more than 200,000 fewer people living in the city. Police say the reason for the lower percentage is due to advances in technology.
"Medical care is probably responsible for the large portion of the dip we've seen in the homicide numbers over the decades," Knight said.
In 2011, police say the first few months were slow. Oklahoma City did not receive its first homicide of 2011 until late February.
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