Homicides down, gang violence up for 2013 in Wichita

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Wichita, Kan. -- 2013 saw a decrease in the number of homicides compared to previous years, but gang violence is up.

That's according to crime statistics released this morning by Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams. The numbers show the number of homicides in Wichita is down from 28 in 2012 to 17 in 2013.

However, 4 of those homicides remain unsolved and 10 of those homicides were gang related. There has also been an increase in overall gang violence in Wichita.

In 2013 there were 16 drive-by shootings, 52 gang-related aggravated assaults with firearms and 916 gang members were arrested. Gang member arrests are down compared to previous years.

Wichita has also seen and increase in aggravated assaults and auto thefts. However, the number of robberies, burglaries and larceny cases are down.

The department's homicide clearance rate remains high at 75%. Still, four homicides in 2013 remain unsolved.

Those victims include:

James Gary, 27, who was shot outside of a party at a warehouse near 11th and Meade around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday July 14.

Lemmie Alford. 25, who was shot multiple times at the intersection of 15th and Green on July 24.

Kolby Hopkins, 25, was the victim of the September 22 Old Town shooting where a suspect opened fire in a parking lot in the 100 block of N. Rock Island.

Damon Williams, 47, was found inside of his flipped over car near Harry and Oliver, but had been shot in the chest moments before.

Chief Williams urged witnesses to these homicides to come forward. The chief said he understood witnesses fear of coming forward, "But at the end of the day, it's important for us to do the right thing."

"If not for the police department, do it for yourself. Do it for the family members who are asking why, why did I lose a loved one?"

A copy of the crime statistics released today is attached to this story.

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