How Louisville homicide numbers compare to other cities

How Louisville homicide numbers compare to other cities
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 11:23 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - There’s been 53 victims of homicide in Louisville since the start of 2023.

So far in April, there have been 17 homicides.

Prior to the mass shootings at Old National Bank and Chickasaw Park, gun violence has been a problem in Louisville.

For the past few years, WAVE News reported how Louisville has broken violence records or come close to it.

But is this a problem just in the river city?

Dr. Jason Smith with the University of Louisville Hospital doesn’t think so.

“This is not a Louisville problem,” Smith said during a press conference last week.

Smith made that comment after the Old National Bank mass shooting on April 10.

Just five days later, another mass shooting happened at Chickasaw Park when two people were killed and four were taken to the hospital for treatment.

“The mass shooting on Monday morning, another shooting later Monday morning,” Mayor Craig Greenberg said on Sunday. “Other shootings on other days during the week. We have been mourning all week. And so, we gather again here today at Chickasaw Park way too soon. Way too soon after tragedies befell our city during the week.”

Smith showed his frustration about the amount of gun violence in Louisville during several press conferences last week. His frustration with violence reached beyond the city of Louisville.

“We are not special in the fact that gun violence is impacting our cities,” Smith said.

After the Old National Bank mass shooting, Smith said he got multiple calls from other cities.

“Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis, Atlanta, Miami, Jacksonville, you name it,” Smith said. “It’s not Louisville, it’s everywhere right now.”

Let’s take a closer look at these cities he mentioned.

The Major Cities Chiefs Association, an organization of police executives from the largest cities in the United States and Canada, gathered homicide numbers for 2022.

The association said the numbers come from police departments.

Here are the numbers for each of the cities Smith mentioned:

  • Chicago: 697
  • Los Angeles: 387
  • Baltimore: 333
  • St. Louis: 200
  • Louisville: 157
  • Jacksonville: 154
  • Miami: 47

Louisville has the third-fewest, just above Miami and Jacksonville.

But what about when the population is taken into account?

Bloomberg tracked the homicides per 100,000 people for 2022:

  • St. Louis: 68.2
  • Baltimore: 57.8
  • Atlanta: 34.2
  • Chicago: 25.6
  • Louisville: 25.0
  • Jacksonville: 16.1
  • Miami: 10.7
  • Los Angeles: 10.1

On this list, Louisville is almost right in the middle.

Neither of these lists uses 2023 numbers, so Louisville’s bloody start to the year isn’t accounted for.

But regardless of where Louisville stands on any crime lists, 14 homicides and two mass shootings in six days are rare.

“Regardless of whether people are killed by gun violence in a mass shooting at a bank, at a mass shooting in a park, at an individual shooting on a street corner, at a church, or a school, or anywhere else, every act of gun violence is tragic and unacceptable,” Greenberg said.

On Sunday, Greenberg said no witnesses had come forward about the shooting in Chickasaw Park.

He asked for people to call LMPD if they saw anything.