LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Murder rate spiking in Metro Louisville


There have been two murders in Louisville in less than 24 hours. The killings are just the latest in what has been a violent year for Louisville. Today's murders were the fourth and fifth in just a week.

Police got the call at around 12:15 Saturday morning. Two men shot at the Kingston Park apartment complex in South Louisville. One dead, one wounded.

"Right now we're still very early in the investigation to determine specifically what led up to these shootings," said LMPD spokesperson Alicia Smiley.

But the question is more than just what led to these shootings. There's also the broader question of what has led to the spike in Louisville's murder rate.

"There's not any quick solution to this. This is a complex issue," said Anti-violence activist Christopher 2X. He keeps close watch on the trends in the streets of Louisville. and admits the violence is difficult to predict and prevent.

"It's just hard to intervene in the disputes that can be spontaneous or, to be quite frank with you, revengeful shooting issues."

But, as 2X points out, the number of people killed by gunfire, does not tell the whole story of violence in Louisville. As the number of people killed has increased, so has the number of people wounded by gunfire. 2X estimates between 150 and 200 this year.

"If it wasn't for bad shoots, if it wasn't for some good physician work, as far as it relates to trauma, and a lot of heavenly luck, if you will, this homicide rate could be tinkering around 100 a year, every year," he said.

Even when the shooting victim survives, there is a toll on the family.

To illustrate the point, 2X placed a phone call to the mother of a man wounded in a recent shooting who is still fighting for his life.

"When something like that happens, it's like, I feel helpless. There's nothing I can do. I had no control," said Judy.

But 2X says the community should not feel helpless when it comes to stopping the violence.

"It's just going to be a long haul to educate as best as we can, from the cradle to the grown-up scenario, those individuals to opt away from these kinds of dangerous lifestyles."

There have been 69 homicides in Jefferson Co. so far this year. That's 16 more than last year but still less than the 76 murders in 2009.