A grassroots group in Gainesville focused on reducing crime heard a report last week showing a rise in violent crime and a decrease in property offenses last year.
The Black on Black Crime Task Force on Wednesday evening learned that violent crime rose 14% in 2021, compared the prior year.
In total 1,002 violent crimes were committed, according to collected data from the Gainesville Police Department. Figures show that 631 of violent crimes were cases of aggravated assault, 217 were armed robbery, 149 were cases of rape and seven were homicides.
"This was very trying for me. Going to many of the crime scenes, knowing a lot of the young people that were involved, as well as the countless funeral services I had to speak at," said Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones.
The number of property crimes saw a decrease from 2020. The total 2021 figure for property crime was 3,107, down by 16%.
In a breakdown, 328 burglaries were committed, 348 cases were of auto theft and 2,431 of those cases were larceny.
In GPD's shots-fired analysis, there was an increase in victims shot, totaling 50 for the year of 2021 compared to 28 in the prior year.
2021 Crime Dip: Alachua County crime dips overall, but murders are up
There was a decrease in the number of reported gun shots that citizens called in. In 2020 the number of people who reported hearing gun shots was 530. In 2021 the number decreased to 448.
GPD found that on a national level, 77% of the crimes were committed with a gun. Last year all homicides in Gainesville involved a gun. The task force was told that 85% of the offenders were Black and 15% of the offenders were white. Among victims, 71% were Black and 29% were white.
Gainesville population is 56% non-Hispanic white, 22% Black, 12% Hispanic and 7% Asian, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The rest of the population is largely those identifying with two or more races.
Breakdown of Gainesville shootings
Two shootings occurred at the Swamp Car Wash, 912. E University Ave. The first shooting took the life of Thomas Smith, 33, on Jan. 7, 2021.
The second shooting occurred on May 22, 2021, claiming the life of Bobby Bernard Hopkins Jr. known to most in the community as "Chedda Bob."
On June 24, there was a 13-year-old boy who was killed while attending a birthday party at American Legion, located on 4701 NW Sixth St.
Following the American Legion, July 18 another person was killed in a drive by shooting at the 8th Avenue Food Store. There were two more people who suffered injuries from a drive by shooting the following day.
Past coverage on shootings:
Aug. 1, officers responded quickly to a shooting that happed on 50 SW 1st St. The shooting had occurred at 2 a.m. and there were three people injured.
Aug. 7 officers responded to a drive-by style shooting on 1900 Southeast 4th St. The same night another shooting occurred, injuring another person at 1000 Southwest 62nd Blvd. According to the GPD report that was the location of the Pavilion Apartments.
Around 2 a.m. on Sept. 5, a man died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds at parking lot on 238 W. University Ave.
On Oct. 12 two groups had fired shots on the Northeast Waldo Road and Northeast 16th Avenue. One of the bullets hit a woman in the Green Apple Store. The woman did survive shooting.
And Nov. 22, at 9:30 p.m. GPD officers responded to a shooting at 2000 SE 3rd Terrace where the victim died.
This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Gainesville violent crime up 14 percent in 2021, police data shows