Homicides Fall Citywide; Gang Killings Up 13%

From a Times Staff Writer

The overall number of homicides was down in Los Angeles through the first half of this year, but gang killings were up 13%, police said.

Gangs killed 112 people citywide. But in South-Central Los Angeles, the number of gang killings remained at 66, the same level as last year, a fact police said is a result of their increased presence in the area.

“Gang members know we are out there,” Lt. Fred Nixon said. “This has to have an impact on crimes of violence.”

Homicides overall dropped by more than a fifth in the city, from 416 to 330.


In South-Central Los Angeles, homicides dropped 28.8%, from 215 to 153. In the same area, reported robberies dropped 4.2% from 4,271 to 4,093 and reported rapes fell 4.2% from 384 to 367.

Gang-related robberies in South-Central Los Angeles dropped 29.4%, from 534 to 377, and rapes involving gang members dropped from 38 to 31, or 18.4%.

Since February, task forces of up to 1,000 officers have descended on crime-ridden neighborhoods in an effort to curb gang violence. Nixon said reductions in robbery and homicides show that the additional officers have had a positive impact.