Richmond murders fewest to date in 20 years

Posted at 11:57 PM, Apr 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-30 23:57:42-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) --Richmond is known for both its rich history and deadly history.

Rewind back to 1994. Within the first four months of the year, 60 murders had been committed. There were 54 murders during the same period in 1997, with 32 people were murdered between January and April alone.

CBS 6 looked through the city's recent crime data to see where the current rate stood with its relatively new police chief on board. There have been six murders, making this the first time in two decades that the number remains in single digits within the first four months of the year.

“I didn't know the murder rate went down. That's nice,” one Richmond woman told CBS 6’s Lorenzo Hall sarcastically.

Amy Trammell said, with her kids standing close by, that she still doesn’t feel safe in her South Richmond neighborhood, where most murders statistically occur.

“At one or two o'clock in the morning when they wake up and tell me, mom, they're out there shooting, I’m like, they're out there shooting?,” said Trammell.

CBS 6 spoke with Richmond police chief, Ray Tarasovic. He tells CBS 6 this decline in murders can be attributed largely to the city's homicide department, which is quickly closing cases.

“It stops retaliation and continued homicides by the same person,” said Tarasovic.

The police have managed to close five of their six murder cases this year, with the one unsolved case occurring two weeks ago in Whitcomb Court.

While the police chief is confident that case will be solved, he's not confident this murder rate will remain low.

“We're a third of the way through the year and we have six. That makes me hopeful. It doesn't make me confident. I'm never confident. Six is six too many,” said Tarasovic.