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5,001 killings in 120 seconds; L.A. County homicides since 2007

The number of those slain in Los Angeles County is stark: more than 5,200 killed since The Times began the Homicide Report seven years ago.

From the start, the goal of the online project was to track every killing in Los Angeles County in order to create a fuller picture of who was getting killed and why. Homicide can strike anyone, rich or poor, any race or ethnicity, but the reality is that some communities and groups of people are disproportionately affected. 

African Americans, about 8% of the county's population, accounted for 33% of homicide victims, the vast majority black men.  

Homicide victims in the database include:

* 4,462 men

* 758 women

* 3,868 shot to death

* 286 killed by law enforcement officers

In the video animation shown above, 5,001 dots, each representing a homicide victim, appear in the order the killings took place. Another 200 homicides could not be mapped because authorities do not know where the person was killed.

The first on the map is Jasir Ayuso, 23, who died Jan. 1, 2007, after he was stabbed in Lake Los Angeles.

The second, Janecia Peters, 25, was found the same day in a trash bin in Gramercy Park, wrapped in a plastic bag. Peters is believed to be the final victim of a serial killer dubbed the Grim Sleeper.

The final dot represents Alicia Espinoza, 45, who was found stabbed to death at a motel in Wilmington on Dec. 31, 2013.

Visualizing all those deaths at once is difficult. The Homicide Report's maps cluster killings by area. To place every point would obscure whole parts of a county where killings remain stubbornly high in some neighborhoods, even as violent crime has declined countywide.

In the first year of the Homicide Report, 941 people died in L.A. County by the hand of another, the coroner's definition of a homicide. Last year, the number of homicides was 593.

The Homicide Report relaunched this week with improved maps, searches and a format that allows developments in each homicide to be tracked as they are reported. The goal remains the same: to have a story for every victim.

Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter to get updates from the Homicide Report.

MORE:

Search the database: The Homicide Report

South Vermont Avenue: L.A. County's 'death alley'

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