Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
A shooting on Albuquerque’s West Side left a woman dead and two people injured – one seriously – early Saturday.
It was the second homicide in less than 12 hours and the 50th in the city this year. There were 25 killings by this time last year.
Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said police responded around 2 a.m. to a shooting in the 200 block of 63rd NW, between Central and Avalon. He said a woman died and a man and woman were hospitalized, the man in critical condition.
“They all had gunshot wounds,” Gallegos said.
Several hours after the shooting, APD sent out a news release – referencing a study and survey – saying homicides are increasing in cities across the country.
“After meeting with police chiefs from across the nation, one thing is clear: Cities are battling a surge in violent crime that stems from illegal drugs, domestic violence and guns – trends we are seeing in Albuquerque, as well,” APD Chief Harold Medina said in a statement.
The attached study, released by the Council on Criminal Justice and Arnold Ventures, found that in 34 cities, homicide rates in 2020 were 30% higher on average than in 2019.
The study concluded that “urgent action is necessary” to address the “rapidly rising” rates, including increasing confidence in police and the justice system and using proven anti-violence strategies.
The survey, part of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, compared homicide rates in some of the nation’s largest cities for the first quarter of 2020 and 2021.
The survey found that the worst increase in homicide rates, 1,100%, was in Portland, which had two homicides in the first quarter of 2020 but 24 in 2021. Portland finished 2020 with 56 homicides, according to police data.
Other places that had large increases include Fresno, California, with a 340% increase; Montgomery County, Maryland, 300%, and Oakland, California, 209%.
Albuquerque had a 75% increase, according to the survey.
“Despite the challenges during the past year, our police agencies have to be resilient and do all that we can to keep our communities safe,” Medina said.