A person was being killed in Las Vegas almost every 46 hours or every 2 days for the first few months of 2016. At this rate, the city should have more murders this year than in the past 5 years.
By Feb 10, Las Vegas already had its 17th homicide and within a few days, there were 2 more homicides, which brought the total to 19. This sudden surge in homicides has gone up by 37 percent since 2015 when there were only 14 homicides through mid-February.
Everyone in law enforcement is asking the question, “is violent crime on the rise in the valley?” Las Vegas police say that it is too early to predict because homicides in just 2 months do not always reflect what may happen for the rest of the year. In 2013, for example, Las Vegas police had 17 homicides by mid-February but by the end of the year, the total was 97, which was significantly lower than previous years.
On the other hand, a slow start does not always guarantee that the city will have fewer murders at the end of the year. Just the past year, law enforcement in Las Vegas had only 9 fatalities in 2 months but the annual number of homicides rose to 134 by the end of Dec. 2015.
Everyone aggress that homicides rates are hard to predict because every fatality is different. Some murders arise from arguments, are spontaneous and very difficult to predict. Most of the murders that result from spontaneous or impulsive actions are impossible to predict because they can occur in any segment of society. However, murders related to the drug trade or other related criminal activity are usually more predictable and have a pattern of occurrence.
So far, in Las Vegas, of the 17 murders to date, most cases have resulted from spontaneous violence. Of the 17 fatalities this year, only 2 appeared to be related to random violence. Guns were used as the primary weapon in the majority of killings and in several cases, the death was due to physical violence. So far it is not known how many of these were due to criminal drug activity.
Law enforcement in Las Vegas has enforced patrols all over the valley. So far, there is no panic but with many individuals owning guns, violence has the potential to occur at any time.