The Homicide Report

There were eighty-four homicides in the city of Atlanta last year. Here’s what we learned reading the police reports.

Just how safe is Atlanta? 
Here is a list of the most dangerous big cities (over 200,000 in population) compiled by Law Street Media. The analysis, released last November, compared cities according to their rates of violent crime in 2012—murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Data came from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.

1.  Detroit
2.  Oakland
3.  St. Louis
4.   Memphis
5.   Stockton, California
6.   Birmingham
7.   Baltimore
8.   Cleveland
9.   Atlanta
10.  Milwaukee

Law Street Media released an update to its list in February, using FBI stats from the first half of 2013. Compared with the same period in 2012, violent crime in Atlanta was down 9.75 percent, thanks to drops in rapes, murders, and aggravated assaults. Robberies, however, were up 11.23 percent in the first six months of 2013, compared with the year before. In 1960, when the city’s population was 487,000, the homicide rate was low. Rates peaked in 1990 (reflecting national trends), when population had dropped to 394,000. Today, homicides are falling and the population is increasing (444,000 in 2012). 


From the police reports 
> In early May,
a couple was returning home after eating at a fast-food restaurant. “Several black males exited a vehicle on Lowe Street and approached them with guns drawn. They robbed the victims outside, and then ordered the victims into the house. As they entered the house, the male victim began to fight with the robbers. One of the robbers fired his weapon several times.” The man died of the gunshot wounds.

> According to eyewitnesses, on Sunday, December 1, Marilyn Taylor-Redding was walking down Gartrell Street in the Old Fourth Ward when Alex Mason, who was in his silver PT Cruiser, revved the engine, “put the vehicle in drive, jumped the curb, and ran Ms. Taylor-Redding over, causing her death.” Neighbors grabbed Mason and held him until police arrived.

> Officers arrived at Magic City, a club on Forsyth Street, to find two men shot right after “a large fight between 20 to 30 people occurred inside the club. After the fight, a large group of people were escorted outside of Magic City. The two victims exited the club at this time and proceeded to their vehicle. They began to drive off when someone suddenly fired into the driver-side window, striking both.” 


By the numbers

Number of 2013’s 84 cases in which a suspect had been charged by the year’s end.   
Number of homicides in November 2013, the month with the highest number. The lowest: March, with three.   
The age of the oldest victim, who was stabbed to death by her husband in an attempted murder-suicide. 
Date of the year’s first homicide. Jared Billings was shot and killed on New Year’s Day. The last homicide of the year was the death of Amin Bouchelaghem, who was killed December 30.