Murders decline in Los Angeles, but it’s not all good news

Illustration of a red window with a bullet hole.


The Los Angeles Homicide Rate Drop of 5% in 2022 was seen as a sign for tentative progress. The 382 Murders This was down from 402. 


Los Angeles Police Department now digs deeper into data. The department’s annual Homicide ReportTuesday’s release shows that the declines are not uniform in the city. While deaths are down, there are troubling trends. This includes when it is about people experiencing homelessness.


The decline in killings follows two consecutive years of increases—a pandemic-era trend seen in many large cities across the United States. The 382 deaths last year was higher than any number in the 2010s. In Los Angeles, there were 258 murders between 2018 and 2019.


Bar chart of annual homicides in the city of Los Angeles


According to the Homicide Report gun violence was the main weapon of murder in 75% killings last fiscal year.


Again, there was a wide gap between the sexes. According to the report, 341 murder victims died last year while 41 were killed by a woman.


Pie chart of homicide victims by gender


Crosstown previously reported densely packed homes Downtown According to Statistics Canada, 38 homicides occurred last year. Data from the LAPD that are publicly available. It was the highest number of killings in any neighborhood in the entire city. Next was the 19 murders in Boyle Heights.


While total homicides decreased in 2022, the number of victims was higher than ever before. Last year, 105 people aged over 45 were killed in the city. It is 31% more victims than the 80 who were killed in the same age bracket the year prior.


Last year, 32 murders were classified as domestic/family related. In each of the previous two years, there were 37 murders.


[Get COVID-19, crime and other stats about where you live with the Crosstown Neighborhood Newsletter]


Unhoused animals are at risk

Crosstown reported this month that 92 people experiencing homelessness In 2022, 85 people were killed, an increase of 85 in the previous year. Homicide Report reveals that 110 victims, perpetrators or both were killed in unhoused deaths. This is an increase from the 107 deaths recorded in 2017 and 71 for 2020.


One area where there has been improvement is the classification of murders by the LAPD as gang-related. Last year saw 194 such murders. It is a decrease of 16% from 2021 but a slight decrease of 2% from the total for 2020.


A positive trend is the decrease in murders. Both last August and July saw 44 homicides. Since October, the monthly average has fallen below 30. 


Line chart of homicides in Los Angeles Jan. 2022-Feb. 23


Figures In 2023, the decline was even more dramatic. According to LAPD Compstat data, from Jan.1–March 25 of this year, there were 55 murders. This is a decrease of 81 during the same time last year.


It represents a 39% decline from the 90 homicides that occurred in the same time frame in 2021.


LAPD’s strategy is to confiscate guns from the streets. However, that strategy has been more difficult than ever. The number of firearms seized by the department in 2022 was 8,427, which is 3% less than in the previous year. According to the Homicide Report 1,706 (or 20%) were seized. ghost gunsThese weapons are not traceable and can be manufactured using parts purchased online, or made on a 3D-printer. 


Michel Moore, Chief of the LAPD, has repeatedly decried their danger and prevalence. On March 21, the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Commission stated that 1275 firearms were seized by the department between 2023 and 2023. Of these, 212 were ghost guns. 


“The only purpose that these weapons exist is for those that are prohibited possessors to take advantage of, and which oftentimes result in violence within our community,” he stated.


How we did it: We looked at publicly available crime information from the Los Angeles Police Department from Jan. 1, 2020–March 25, 2023. We also looked at LAPD Compstat data and the LAPD’s 2022 Homicide Report. Learn more Find our data here.


The LAPD data does not reflect the actual number of crimes, but only crimes reported to it. When making calculations, we use data that the LAPD makes public. LAPD can update crime reports from the past with new information or reclassify reports. Revisions to reports don’t always automatically become part the public database.


Do you have questions or would like to learn more about our data? Send us an email at [email protected].

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