Homicide numbers 31 percent higher than last year

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Homicides are among the most personal. This year four involve sons who killed their mothers. These types of crimes are hard to prevent but next year a plan is in the works to lower domestic murders.

2017 brought homicide investigators in Fresno some unusual cases. Investigators say Kori Muhammad went on a racist killing spree in Fresno gunning down Carl Williams, Zack Randalls, Mark Gassett and David Jackson. The first half of the year was the most violent in Fresno.

At one point, the city surpassed Oakland's murder rate.

Six people died at the hands of people they knew and once loved. In 2018, officers will be working more to combat abuse in homes.

"We need to focus on domestic violence as an issue. Having our detectives going out and arresting people that are wanted for domestic violence. Getting them off the street because we know that's what leads to a homicide," said Lt. Mark Hudson.

More than half of the homicides in Fresno this year were gang related, 30 involved gangs, whereas last year only 20 did. Already the way specialty units are deployed is changing to try to reduce gang violence next year.

"We will be focusing on proactive resources in these areas, homelessness-certainly in the gang areas. We will have our street teams out in the districts, they are going out to the districts this year so we'll be focusing on those gang related issues," said Lt. Mark Hudson.

Homicides are also up this year in Fresno County. Deputies investigated 26 homicides in 2017 and 21 last year. Several were from outlying agencies who turned over their cases to Fresno County detectives. Of the cases this year, 46 percent were solved.

Fresno Police have reported 56 homicides this year, compared to 39 in 2016. 73 percent of this year's homicides were solved.

Another trend officers have seen in the past few years is the number of homeless people being killed. Last year, six were homicide victims and this year there were seven.
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