LOS ANGELES—Overall crime in Los Angeles dipped slightly in the first half of 2021, but the number of killings in the city soared to its highest level in more than a decade, according to a report released on July 16.
Data compiled by Crosstown, a nonprofit news organization based at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, show there were 179 killings in the city between Jan. 1 and June 30, a 31.6 percent jump from the same period last year and a 38.8 percent increase from 2019.
January was the deadliest month of the year thus far, with 39 people killed, according to Crosstown. There were 38 killings in June.
The city is on pace to surpass 2020, when Los Angeles saw more than 300 killings for the first time in more than a decade, Crosstown reported.
There were 343 killings in the city last year, up 34 percent from 2019.
Crosstown noted that the number of killings in the city began spiking shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Overall crime in the city, however, is actually down 4 percent in the first six months of the year, compared to the same period last year. But killings are up, and aggravated assaults have risen by 13 percent, according to Crosstown.
Data show that 73.2 percent of the killings in the first half of the year involved a firearm. Downtown Los Angeles had the highest number of killings, with 13, followed by Watts with 11 and Hyde Park with eight.
Of the 179 killed, 160 were men, and 19 were under the age of 18.
Crosstown noted that the data only reflect crimes that were reported to the Los Angeles Police Department, not how many crimes may have actually occurred.
According to Crosstown, other large cities are also seeing surges in violent crime, with New York reporting 213 killings in the first six months of 2021, a 10.9 percent year-over-year increase. Chicago has reported 336, which is similar to last year’s number but up 33 percent from 2019.