MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Multiple shootings in a violent stretch of days has pushed Memphis to yet another record number of homicides in 2023, with more than a month left in the year.
The city’s homicide toll is 352 for the year as of Nov. 20, Officer Chris Williams with the Memphis Police Department said Monday.
That number surpasses the record of 346 homicides set in 2021. That year surpassed the previous record, which had been set a year earlier.
For comparison, Los Angeles, a city of 3.85 million, reported 272 homicides at the end of October.
Though Memphis homicides cooled slightly in 2022, they jumped back up again this year.
Two hundred ninety-eight of the city’s homicides are considered murders by MPD. New York City, with a population of 8.5 million, reported 333 murders as of Nov. 12.
The wave of deaths is leaving the Memphis Police Department asking the community for help to stem the bloodshed.
“I said it over the weekend and I’ll say it again: We have to do better as a community,” Officer Williams said. ” We have to stop the senseless acts of violence that continue to plague the city of Memphis. We have to say enough is enough. Gun crime is ridiculous right now in the city of Memphis. It’s too much. You see too many families being devastated and affected by senseless tragedies like this one.”
2021 End of Year
Murders – 303
Homicides – 346
2022 Year to Date
Murders – 215
Homicides – 261
2023 Year to Date (not including Monday’s homicides)
Murders – 298
Homicides – 350
City Councilman Dr. Jeff Warren says it’s heartbreaking, but not shocking.
“I shoot you, I kill you, then your brothers kill two of my siblings or relatives. Then my relatives kill four of yours. So you have that exponential growth in violence where people have a retaliatory thought process and that’s not going to work in society,” Warren said.
Dr. Warren said city leaders are working to launch and improve crime intervention programs- such as 901 Bloc Squad and Group Violence Intervention Program (GVIP) but it’s going to take a collaborative effort that includes state leaders.
Governor Bill Lee said he is here to help Memphis in any way he can.
“We’ve added additional troopers that would relieve some of the pressure on the MPD to allow them to be more focused on fighting crime while our highway patrolmen are more focused on what’s happening on the roads,” he said.
Dr. Warren said they will take all the help they can get with hopes of a brighter future for the city.
According to the Memphis Crime Commission, violent crime in the county is up 5 percent, and overall crime is up 9.6 percent since last year.