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Homicides in DC Decline Slightly in 2005

Tuesday, January 3, 2006
City Records Fewer Than 200 Murders for Second Consecutive Year

The number of people murdered in the District of Columbia declined slightly in 2005, and for the first time in two decades, the city recorded fewer than 200 homicides in consecutive years.


There were 195 murders in DC during 2005. The city ended 2004 with 198 homicides, the lowest annual total since 1986, when there were 194. The last time the District had two consecutive years with fewer than 200 homicides was 1985-1986 (there were 148 murders in 1985). By contrast, there were 360 homicides in 1995 and 399 in 1994.  The highest year for homicide in DC was 1991, when there were 482. 


The 2005 homicide total includes 12 juvenile victims aged 17 and younger.  That is down from 24 juvenile victims in 2004 and 13 in 2003.


As in past years, the vast majority of the 2005 homicides were committed with firearms.  Of the 195 murders in 2005, 153 -- or more than 78 percent -- involved firearms. Knives were used in 17 homicides, or just under 9 percent. Of the 195 murder victims, 173 (89%) were men; 181 of the victims (93%) were black males or females.


The 7th (62) and 6th (37) Police Districts recorded the most homicides in 2005. There were no homicides in the 2nd District; the next lowest total was 14 in the Fourth District.


The preliminary UCR (Uniform Crime Reports) homicide closure rate for 2005 was 62 percent, with 121 closures recorded during the year.