By Mark Price, The Charlotte Observer
Charlotte’s homicide rate has it listed among the nation’s “deadliest cities.”
Of the 61 metro areas included, Charlotte-Mecklenburg fell in the Top 30, tied at No. 28 with Houston, Texas, and Dekalb County near Atlanta.
All three metro areas have a murder rate of 5.6 per 100,000, according to statistics from the first half of 2017. The rates were calculated per 100,000 residents, based on the most recent population data for each city.
The top 10 areas, in descending order: Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City (Kansas), Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Baltimore, and St. Louis, which had a rate of 29.1 per 100,000 people.
More people were killed in Charlotte in 2017 than any year since 1995. There were 87 homicides last year, compared with 69 in 2016 – that’s a 26 percent rise.
In fact, 2017 was the city’s seventh deadliest year. It was the first time so many lives have been lost since the crack cocaine epidemic of the early to mid 1990s, which largely accounted for Charlotte’s highest homicide rates since record-keeping began in earnest in the 1970s.
The 2017 homicide victims have a median age of 29. Nearly 60 percent were black men. Nearly three-quarters were killed with a gun. And Charlotte’s deadliest days were June 20 and Dec. 9, when three people were killed on the same day.