NEW ORLEANS -- New statistics reveal an alarming increase in the number of murders in Jefferson Parish.
Just this Thursday night, Marrero was the scene of yet another fatal shooting. Residents are calling them senseless killings and say they feel the number of murders are skyrocketing in their Westbank neighborhood.
"Man I am scared for my children, to be honest with you," said longtime resident Tory Davis. "Definitely terrified."
According to the latest crime report from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, the murder rate is up more than 66 percent. 20 murders in just the first six months of 2013, compared to 12 murders at this point last year.
"What we have recognized is that 14 of the 20 murders for sure were relational," said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand. "The victim and the suspect know each other."
Normand says in 2012 Jefferson Parish had the lowest crime rate since 1974. He says although the murder rate is up, the overall crime rate is down 3.5 percent throughout the parish.
"We are encouraged, but I don't like the fact that people are solving conflicts by killing one another," said Sheriff Normand.
Tory Davis, both a P.E. teacher and basketball coach, says curbing the violence starts with the kids, which is why he mentors young boys and teens in the area.
"I think that the kids need to understand that you don't have to act like that to be respected" said Davis. "Ya know, they don't want to be pushovers, they don't want to be bullied around."
He says it is what he preaches to his own kids and says he hopes his own story will help make a difference.
"I grew up in it and I have never been arrested for gun violence or anything like that," said Davis. "So when I talk to kids I can say I lived it. I was one of those guys that grew up in the hood, but I didn't have to be from the hood. I took a different path."
Up until last year, the lowest overall crime rate in the parish was in 2006, but ironically that year the murder rate was the highest since 1974.