Driven by shootings, Springfield's violent crime rate is up in 2022




  • In US
  • 2022-05-18 10:45:22Z
  • By Springfield News-Leader
 

While overall crime is down, violent crime has increased seven percent so far this year - driven by a series of shootings.

According to Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams' monthly report to city council, the number of aggravated assaults in the first four months of 2022 has increased by 20 percent since last year.

"Almost all of that increase is related to gun violence. The increase in shots fired calls, the increasing number of folks that were having been shot, including the two homicides that we had just this last weekend, are related to gun violence," Williams said Monday night.

"That's something we're continuing to struggle with as a department. It remains our focus trying to keep people safe and get guns off the street."

So far, SPD has confiscated 92 illegal firearms this year, compared to 150 confiscated firearms in all of last year.

Asked about the double homicide that took place downtown early Saturday morning, Williams said the killings remain unsolved and the investigation is open.

According to a press release about the homicides, Springfield police were called out to the scene at about 1:48 a.m. for reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they found the two victims - one of whom was pronounced dead at the scene and the other died at the hospital.

Police say a third individual believed to be involved in this incident showed up at the hospital later with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and received treatment.

More: Police search Hells Angels hangout in Springfield for information in drive-by shooting

"People have been reluctant to come forward. There were a lot of people who saw things but a number of witnesses have ... been slow to come forward and reluctant to talk to us. So I would really encourage people that it's a sense of community to do that and keep people safe and get those people responsible off the streets. We're gonna need the community's help to do that."

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While violent crime is up, property crime has made overall crime drop by 22 percent in the first four months of 2022. That decrease is driven by car theft, which has decreased by 35 percent.

If people just keep their cars locked, keep the keys in the pocket, then we would keep auto theft down," Williams said.

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Springfield police chief says shootings drive up violent crime in 2022

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