NEW ORLEANS – A local crime analyst says number show shootings are expected to decline in 2017, but it may not all be good news.
Walter Umrani heads up Peace Keepers, a small volunteer organization that specializes in conflict mediation on the streets of New Orleans.
He said it's frustrating to hear murders and shootings continue to rise in the city.
"The greatest thing that bothering me right now is that too many of us, watching the tragedies happen on television and treat it like they're looking at some reality program and this is not really happening in my city until it happens to them personally," Umrani said.
WWL-TV Crime Analyst Jeff Asher said New Orleans is wrapping up its worst year in terms of gun violence since the city's anti-gun violence program started in 2013.
The city is on pace for 176 murders, that's compared to 164 killings last year and 150 in 2014. New Orleans is also on pace for 480 shootings this year. That's the highest number of shootings in the city in one year since 2010.
"It will be the second consecutive year of rising murder, but a much more significant rise in shootings this year, compared to last year." Asher said.
Asher said the numbers suggest 2017 will have slightly fewer shootings, but more of them fatal.
This year, 32.5 percent of the city's shootings resulted in a homicide. That's slightly below the city's historic fatality rate of 35.2 percent.
"At times when there are sustained periods where it's below that percentage, over sustained periods after that, it rises to that percentage or above," Asher said.
Meanwhile, Umrani said the solution to gun violence starts with giving young people the tools to succeed, replacing crime and despair with hope.
"We have to let them know there is hope, there is a life out there, there are people who love them and willing to help them on every level to succeed," Umrani said. "We have to do that and we have to do it now."
Umrani added he feels it is our moral obligation to bring some remedy to this present situation.
"Too many of the young men out there think I will not be successful, I will not live to be over 25, if you get to that point of degradation in your life, then there's no telling what you will do," he said.
Another troubling statistic is over the last 180 days there have been 270 shootings in New Orleans. That's the most number of shootings over a six-month span since 2010.