Toledo not alone in seeing gun violence increase

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 12:35 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Gun violence has been increasing across the United States since the pandemic hit. Nearly every major city in Ohio saw a rise in gun crime in 2020 compared to 2019.

The trends are continuing in Columbus this year with roughly 350 shooting incidents where people have been killed entering the week, according to the nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive. It’s an increase from 229 at this point in 2020 and 116 in 2019.

In other Ohio cities, rates are down slightly in 2021 compared to 2020, but still above the pace from previous years.

Toledo has had 35 confirmed homicides in 2021, just three shy of its total from 2019 and more than half of its record figure of 61 homicides seen in 2020.

Gun crimes at this point last year where someone was hurt and/or killed in Toledo are above 2021′s pace. Even though rates have declined this year in Toledo, they’re still far above where they were in previous years.

The FBI estimates homicides increased 25% in 2020 compared to the previous year, a sharp increase compared to previous years, but still far below rates seen at their peak in the 1980s and 1990s. The trends are seen in cities run by Democratic and Republican mayors in all corners of the U.S.

Other types of violent crime aren’t escalating at nearly the rate of homicides. The FBI says other nonviolent crimes likely increased 3% in 2020 compared to 2019 with rates that are significantly below those seen in the 1990s. Other crimes like property theft and home burglaries decreased in 2020 to continue their downward trends.

A closer look at gun violence increases reveals another upward trend: High-victim shootings.

The Gun Violence Archive defines those shootings as involving four or more people who are killed and/or hurt.

Toledo has had two of those this month, including the block party shooting during the Independence Day weekend that left one dead and 11 others hurt, and one Sunday morning at the Glass House Lounge.

Ohio is close to surpassing last year’s total already. The state saw 26 such shootings in 2020 and already has reported 24, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Mass shootings are increasing across the country. Before 2020, the Gun Violence Archive says it never recorded a single month with 60 or more incidents in the U.S. There were five-straight months (May-September) recorded in 2020. This year, there were 72 in May, 76 in June, and 50 so far in July.

Toledo’s mayor told 13abc Monday that solutions to violence involve long-term solutions that will take time.

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