By Samual Stebbins
Homicides are rising at a record pace in the United States. According to a recent FBI report, there were a total of 21,570 murders committed in 2020, the most of any year in the last two and a half decades and up nearly 30% from 2019 — the largest annual increase on record.
The spike in homicides came during a tumultuous year. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools and left millions of Americans out of work. Footage of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer rattled confidence in American law enforcement and sparked nationwide protests. Firearms sales soared, and tens of millions of new guns proliferated across communities nationwide. Here is a look at the states where gun sales are surging.
Some experts speculate that each of these factors likely played a role in rising homicide rates nationwide. While it may be years before the precise causal factors are identified, many U.S. cities are bearing the brunt of the rash of deadly violence. In metropolitan areas across the country, the increase in homicides last year eclipsed the national surge — in some cases, many times over.
Murders rose at a rate of 53.6% in Tucson, Arizona, last year. A total of 86 homicides were reported in the metro area in 2020, up from 56 the previous year.
The trend of rising homicide rates will likely continue for the foreseeable future in Tucson. Preliminary reports show that 2021 may well prove to be a deadlier year in the city than 2020 was. In response, Tucson police are stepping up patrols in high-crime areas and reassigning robbery and assault officers to homicide cases. The vast majority of murders in the city — over 80% — have been solved.