CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As we start the new year, new numbers are shedding light on Charlotte's spike in murders in 2017.
The 85 murders in 2017, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, is up 12 percent from 2016. Each victim is obviously much more than a statistic.
“Every one of them had somebody who loved them and every last one of their deaths was senseless,” Chief Kerr Putney previously said.
Now, NBC Charlotte is asking CMPD about their plans to decrease the murder rate in 2018. Police say they'll likely be discussing the murder rate very soon. It's clear no one wants a repeat of 2017.
Two of the murder victims were under 14 years old. However, nearly a third of the victims were between the ages of 25 and 34. Back in June, Chief Putney announced an increase in walking and bike patrols.
"I don't want you to say 'we're OK,' because we're not,” Chief Putney said at the time.
Domestic violence was an all too common cause. Police say it accounted for 21 murders. Robbery and arguments were each connected to 14 homicides, according to CMPD.
“It's a minor conflict. It's 'I'm mad at you for some reason,' and instead of talking it through logically and reasonably, we let emotion carry the day and people resort to violence,” Chief Putney said.
According to CMPD, 36 of the victims knew the suspects. In ten of the murders, they did not. In other cases, the relationships are undetermined at this point.
Guns, far and away the most common weapon, were used in 77 percent of all 2017 murders in Charlotte.
Chief Putney says the goal is to learn from past years.
“We should have learned in 2005 from what we saw in 1995, but here we are again,” Chief Putney said previously.
While murders were up significantly in 2017, it was not a record for the city. The record of 129 murders was set back in 1993.