NEW ORLEANS - Even though three people have been killed between Monday afternoon and Tuesday in New Orleans, the murder rate is still down this year.
We’ve been tracking the number of them on the WWLTV.com murder map. Our calculations show the city could see the lowest number of murders since 2006 when we had a much smaller population.
37-year-old Chancellor Atlow was one of three people shot and killed in New Orleans in the last 24 hours.
Criminologists, including SUNO Professor John Penny, say the cause of the drop is still to be determined. Penny does, however, give credit to the criminal justice system.
“A lot of the major players have been put in jail,” he said.
“Reducing murders is a top priority for the Landrieu Administration," said Garnesha Crawford, a spokesperson for Mayor Landrieu's office. "We are seeing early signs of progress including a 24 percent reduction compared to this time last year. Through NOLA FOR LIFE, we are implementing a comprehensive strategy to keep our citizens safe and change the culture of violence in New Orleans.”
WWL-TV has documented 119 killings in 2013. As of Monday, the NOPD had recorded 117. That number did not include a murder Tuesday morning, or a shooting Monday in which the victim didn’t pass away until Tuesday.
Our analysis shows New Orleans averaging 12.4 murders a month. If that continues, the city could have fewer murders than when the population was decimated in 2006.
“In this city we have not been very good at managing our conflict without resorting to guns and violence,” Penny said.
Our analysis shows 107 of the 119 murder victims have been shot.
“It tells us the problems we have with guns in our city, the availability,” Penny said.
Our murder map shows the St. Roch neighborhood and the 7th Ward have been two of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods in 2013.
According to our numbers, on average someone is killed in the city about every two days. It’s a disturbing thought, but it’s a thought that gives even criminologists hope.
“I'm happy to hear that the violent murder rates are going down and hopefully that's a trend for the future,” Penny said.