New crime stats show pandemic accelerating gun crimes in Memphis area

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Memphis has released a new report showing the number of gun crimes taking off during the pandemic.

In addition to the more than 255 homicides, a record-breaking number, thousands of other crimes involving guns have taken place.

Police say there have been 23 child homicides this year, and 29 violent child deaths, including accidents. Wednesday, a 12-year-old was killed in a drive-by shooting in North Memphis.

U of M says the rate of gun crimes early this year was roughly equal to 2019. But after the pandemic hit, the numbers rose sharply in April.

There were 4,718 violent incidents involving guns between January and September. That’s nearly 20 percent more than the same period last year.

Two-thirds of all the violent crimes in Memphis involve some sort of firearm. That’s also up significantly over last year. The city recorded more than 10,051 offenses involving a gun in the first nine months of this year, compared to 7,281 the year before.

Adding to the negative trend is the number of guns stolen from cars across the city — nearly 850 of them, and that’s only through September.

At that pace, the U of M says Memphis can expect to see about 1,100 guns stolen from cars this year.

More local crime stats can be found here.

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