After Bloodiest Year, Baltimore Murder Rate Still Rising

In this July 30, 2015 picture, a member of the Baltimore Police Department removes crime scene tape from a corner where a victim of a shooting was discovered in Baltimore. Murders are spiking again in Baltimore, three months after Freddie Gray’s death in police custody sparked riots. This year’s monthly …
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

With 344 murders, last year was the bloodiest year in the City of Baltimore’s history. But as 2016 reaches its halfway point, the bloodshed seems to be showing no signs of stopping.

Thus far, the town once called “Charm City” has suffered 114 deaths, mostly a result of gang warfare.

Now that summer has pretty much begun, the murder rate is ticking up as well. In the last week of May alone, an incredible twelve murders were committed in the city.

This year is following closely the dangerous pattern seen last year. Baltimore’s per capita murder rate in 2015 was the worst the city has ever recorded. Even though there were more murders by body count in 1993 (353 were murdered then as compared to the 344 in 2015) the population of the city in 1993 was much higher than that of today.

In fact, the murder rates in three top U.S. cities were so bad, it caused the murder rate to rise for the whole country even though the rest of the nation has mostly seen a drop in violent crime and murder.

As Salt Lake City’s KUTV reported on April 21, the murder rates in Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington D.C. drove the higher national murder rate in 2015.

While Baltimore’s murder rate is appalling enough, the country stands shocked by the blood being spilled on a daily basis in Obama’s adopted hometown of Chicago. With a murder rate in 2015 of 468 killed — the highest seen in decades — the Windy City suffered a 13 percent higher murder rate over 2014.

But 2016 is already on track to burst that dismal record wide open. Already, shootings in the city have soared 88 percent with a murder rate standing 77 percent higher over 2015.

May, for instance, saw 66 murders in Chicago compared to only 46 in May of 2015. May also saw an incredible 397 shootings just that month alone. Thus far, the toll of violence has reached 1,594 total citizens shot, of which 244 have been shot and killed.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at


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