Louisville's gang connections, homicide rate compared to other cities

Louisville's gang connections, homicide rate compared to other cities

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Many questions about gang activity and violent crime have surfaced after the brutal murder of two teens on River Park Drive.

Brice Rhodes, 25, is accused of killing Larry Ordway, 14, and Maurice G. Gordon Jr., 16. Autopsies show both victims died of multiple blunt force injuries. They lived on Cliff Avenue in Louisville.
Rap videos and photos surfaced of Rhodes and the teens he's accused of killing which begged
further questions about possible gang involvement and recruitment. 
A Facebook page claiming to be El Rambo Guzman, the known alias of Rhodes, lists his occupation as the "Dog Food Gang." A quick internet search reveals a connection to the Blood gang originating in Compton.

Man charged with killing brothers also on sex offender registry
Teen brothers stabbed to death, burned positively ID'd by coroner

+ Mother of slain teens offers her version of motive for her sons' deaths

But does Louisville as a whole have a gang problem? And how serious is it? The Louisville Metro Police Department answered those questions at a Public Safety Meeting at the end of March when they presented to the Metro Council about gang activity in Louisville.
"Do we have gang issues in Louisville? The answer to that question is yes," Assistant Chief Kim Kraeszig said. 

When LMPD presented to the Metro Council, Chief Steve Conrad reported there were at least 25 gangs in Louisville.

"The culture that you see here is you can have people in different gangs, but if they can come together and make money selling drugs or if they can come together robbing people they will, they'll do that," Conrad said.

Conrad said while gangs are active in Louisville, the crime associated with gangs isn't stereotypical
gang versus gang violence, but gang members are contributing to violent crime, including homicides.

So far this year, WAVE 3 News records list 45 homicides since May 26, 2016. In April of 2015, 22 homicides were reported by LMPD, this year's number double last year's.

The number of homicides is higher than cities with a larger population than Louisville. 

According to the Nashville Police Department, there have been 25 homicides so far in Nashville in 2016.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department reported their homicide rate down 14 percent from 2015, with 10 homicides as of March 2016.
Indianapolis Police report seven non-criminal homicides and 51 murders as of May 23, 2016.

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.