A spate of deadly shootings and stabbings over the last two months may have knocked Long Beach off the track toward having another record low number of killings this year.
Since the beginning of June, nine people were slain in Long Beach, more than the rest of the year combined, according to statistics from police.
- On June 3, a 58-year-old homeless man was stabbed to death during a fight.
- About two weeks later, a man who’d been living in a van was gunned down on a street corner on June 18.
- Before dawn on June 27, a 77-year-old man shot a fire captain at a senior living home, authorities allege.
- Just after midnight on June 28, a woman was shot in the head at a North Long Beach housing project.
- Nine hours later on June 28, a suspected gang-related shooting took the life of a 42-year-old man.
- On the evening of July 6, a man was found stabbed to death in a motorhome in West Long Beach.
- Two days later, on July 8, a woman was killed and a man was wounded in a shooting that police suspect was gang-related.
- The night of July 11, a driver got out of his car and fatally stabbed a pedestrian after possibly running into him in California Heights, police said.
- And on July 21, a man attending a family reunion at Pan American Park was gunned down when he went into the restroom.
Until the beginning of June, there had been only six criminal homicides in Long Beach this year. That was even fewer than there were at the same time last year when police recorded only 22 homicides for the whole year, the lowest number on record, according to authorities.
But the recent spate of violence has knocked Long Beach off that pace. So far this year, there have been 15 criminal homicides compared to 13 at the end of July last year. There were only two killings recorded in June and July last year, according to crime stats from the LBPD.
Police declined to set up an interview with homicide investigators about what could be causing the recent cluster of killings.
“They’re all open investigations,” department spokeswoman Arantxa Chavarria said, adding that it would be premature to offer any theories.
“It would all be speculation,” she said.
Police have announced arrests in three of the nine recent murders, but most of the cases remain unsolved.
Overall, Long Beach’s homicide rate has plummeted in the decades since the 1990s and 80s when the city sometimes saw more than 100 killings per year.
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