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Police: Out of 200 homicides, half committed by family, friends

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Police Department has released new crime statistics following the city's 200th homicide of the year.

According to authorities, 146 of those cases have been solved with 92 arrests being made and five warrants issued for wanted suspects.

Sixteen of those cases have also been ruled justified by the District Attorney General's Office.

Police said 50 percent were committed by someone the victim knew, such as family members, friends or acquaintances, police noted. This means that half of these homicides could have been prevented with effective communication, the department went on to say.

"The Memphis Police Department is committed to working with our community partners and being proactive to reduce crime. However, homicides are different. There is no statistical data that will alert any police department when someone has made the decision to commit murder. We have to work together to encourage people to not seek violence as a means to resolve conflict.

We must also remember that 200 is just not a number. This means that 200 Memphians will not be there to spend time with their loved ones during this holiday season. These 200 Memphians were mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, and uncles that were all taken away too soon."

In 2015, there were 161 homicides.

In 1993, the city set a record at 213.

Beverly Hall, mother of homicide victim Ryan Gilliam, attributed high crime to a vicious cycle of poverty.

”They need money. We have a lot of felons out here that need jobs. They go to jail, get out, have families and can't get jobs,” she said.

Police said Gilliam died while tried to break up a robbery at his home. She wept as she got ready for her first Thanksgiving without her youngest son.

District Attorney Amy Weirich said the comprehensive crime plan released last week would address some of the issues.

"What we hope to achieve in the next five years is that every street in this county, if you don’t already have a neighborhood watch program, get one. Be a part of one. Be engaged in who your neighbors are, who is coming and going from the house next door,” she said.