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Michael Luke / WWLTV.com
Email: mluke@wwltv.com | Twitter: @WWLTV

NEWORLEANS-- Even with high-profile killings like the one on Bourbon Street that grabbed national headlines, six months into 2014, murders in New Orleans are slightly down from the previous year, a year that had a historic low in the number of murders.

As of the end of June, 71 people have been murdered in New Orleans, compared to 75 in 2013, when 155 people were murdered for the entire year.

In the first half of 2014, someone was murdered about every 2.5 days, averaging nearly 12 victims per month. Trending upward since the beginning of the year, June saw the highest number of murders with 15, while January was the lowest with 7 murder victims.

Victims mostly male, in late twenties, often victims of gun violence

For the first six months of 2014, the murder victims have been predominately male, 61 (87 percent), while only 10 have been female, with 29 years old as the average age of the victims.

The youngest victim murdered was 14-year-old African American boy named Miqual Jackson, who was fatally shot on May 5 near the intersection of Josephine and Brainard streets in Central City. Jackson died a day later at the hospital. His 15-year-old brother was also shot that day, but survived.

The oldest victim was a 59-year-old African American woman named Brenda Hal. She killed on Apr. 14. Hal was shot and killed in the 2000 block of SouthLiberty Street.

Hal was one of three woman killed in less than a week in April -- all were victims of gun violence and all were shot in Central City. On Apr. 12, Lanisha Scott was gunned down near the intersection of Dryades Street and Washington Avenue. On Apr. 14, Racquel Guillard was found shot multiple times in the 2300 block of Josephine Street.

Continuing a trend from recent years in New Orleans, the murder victims are overwhelmingly African American -- 97 percent -- only two victims in the first six months were not African American.


View New Orleans Murder Map - 2014 in a larger map

Joseph Istre the first murder victim who was gunned down in the 2300 block of North Prieur Street on the first day of 2014, and last murder victim in June,Ayanna Woodward, who also used the name Alicia Green, were identified by the New Orleans Police Department as white.

Woodward's body was found in a wooded area by Michoud Boulevard in New Orleans East. She had been shot multiple times and her body was burned.

Shootings main cause of death

Another trend continuing is gun violence remains the main means to carry out murders in New Orleans.

Of the 71 murder victims for the first six months, 93 percent were killed in shootings.

Of the few other types of murders, two were the high-profile murder of a LaPlace couple who went missing on Feb. 18. The bodies of Lakeitha and Kenneth Joseph were found in the Intercoastal Waterway on different days in March in eastern New Orleans. The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office ruled the cause of their deaths to be drownings.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jermond Carson, who was killed on Feb. 13, died at the hospital after he was stabbed inside a home in the 7200 block of Bunker Hill Road in New Orleans East. The other stabbing victim was Aaron Jackson, 52. On June 21, Jackson died after suffering a single stab wound to the leg.

Charles Robertson, 31, who was struck in the head with the bottle on Mar. 22, died eight days later on Mar. 30. According to police, Robertson and Richard Dozier, 49, got into a fight in the 3400 block of North Claiborne Avenue. Robertson was placed in intensive care at the hospital where he later died.

The longest stretch New Orleans went without a murder for the first six months of 2014 was from May 10 to May 21, which was then followed with one of the more violent periods for the year.

Nine people were killed -- Rodney Johnson, (5/21); Delores Jones and Tremaine Robertson, (5/23); Clarence Wilson III, (5/25); Dwayne Joseph and Korey Reed, (5/26); Floyd Batiste, (5/27); Charles Dailey, (5/30); EL'Jerome Combs, (5/31) -- from May 21 through May 31.

Looking at the days of the week, most of the murders occurred onWednesday, 14, and the fewest number of people have been killed on Tuesday, 6; Sunday had 11 murders; Monday, 8; Thursday, 9; Friday, 11; Saturday, 11.

The average time of day for the murders was 2:48 p.m.

By NOPD District, areas of concentration

Murders for the first six months of 2014 have hit two NOPD districts particularly hard.

The 5th District, which encompasses parts of the 7th Ward, St. Roch, the Desire area, Bywater, 9th Ward and Lower 9th Ward, has had 19 murders.

The 7th District, which borders the 5th and covers most of eastern New Orleans, has had the second most murders with 18 killed there in the first six months of 2014.

Comparatively, the 5th had 24 murders for all of 2013, and the 7th had 24 during the course of last year.

The 6th District has the third highest murder rate for the first six months of 2014 with 12, which is the same number of murders the district experienced for the first six months of 2013.

Two districts, the 3rd and the 8th, had the fewest murders. The 3rd District, which includes parts of Lakeview, Gentilly, City Park, had three people murdered inside its borders.

The 8th District, which has the French Quarter, Marigny, and Central Business District, also only had three murders -- two more than the tourist-heavy district had in all of 2013. One of the murders was the fatal shooting of Brittany Thomas. Around 2:45 a.m. on June 29, the 21-year-old nursing student from Hammond was one of 10 people shot when gunfire erupted in the 700 block of Bourbon Street. She died from her injuries several days later.

Murders are down dramatically in the 1st District when compared to 2013. So far 7 people have been killed in the district, compared to 13 at the same time last year.

The 2nd District has also seen murders drop significantly when compared to the first half of the previous year, with 5 people murdered so far into 2014 compared to 13 at the same time last year.

The 4th District, which is based in Algiers, has had 4 murders for the first six months of 2014.

Orleans Parish totals around roughly 350 square miles. Thirty-four of the 71 murders for the first six months, over half, were committed in less than 8 square miles of the parish, with three areas (pictured above) in particular having the heaviest concentration of people murdered. Not surprising, the areas are primarily in the police districts with the highest amount of murders.

Bounded by St. Bernard Avenue, St. Claude Avenue, Franklin Avenue and Florida Avenue, a 1.4 square mile section of the 5th District -- parts of the 7th Ward and St. Roch -- had 11 murders.

In the Central City area, the murders were concentrated in a 1.3 square mile section, bounded by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Baronne Street, Claiborne Avenue and Jena Street, with 10 murders.

In eastern New Orleans, from Downman Road to Bullard Avenue in between Chef Menteur Highway and Hayne Boulevard, 13 people were murdered in a 4.7 square mile section of the 7th NOPD District.

(The data, totals and analysis are based from multiple sources. The official numbers have yet to be released.)

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