ROANOKE, Va. – Amid the calls for peace in northwest Roanoke after recent shootings, police said Friday there are two more homicides this year in the city compared to last year.
There have been four homicides in Roanoke in the last month, bringing the 2017 total to 16, two more than the total of 14 last year between local police and state police cases in the city.
It's an increase from an average of 9 between 2009 and 2013.
Overall, however, violent crime is down nearly 7 percent in the city from 2016. That’s part of a downward trend in which violent crime is lower than it was four years ago.
Police said half of the 2017 homicide cases are still under active investigation. Arrests or warrants have been issued in nine cases. Half of the homicide cases have been in northwest Roanoke, which is similar to previous years, police said Friday.
Other homicides occurred in different areas. There were two in Southwest and three each in the northeast and southeast areas of Roanoke.
Two developments have come in the last week. Police announced an arrest Thursday for malicious wounding in the November shooting death of 18-year-old Atlante Dent and on Sunday police named a suspect in the February shooting death of 28-year-old Asia Wade. Both of those cases are in northwest Roanoke.
Elsewhere, Danville police said there have been 14 homicides this year in the city. That’s two fewer than the record 16 a year ago.
In Lynchburg, police said there have been six homicides this year. That’s up from two in each of the last two years.