Report: Number of homicides in Maricopa County highest in over 3 decades
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiners (OME) began databasing homicide counts in 1991. Its latest annual report shows the number of homicides in 2022 is the highest in just over three decades.
Dr. Frank Lovecchio said he’s been working at the Valleywise Health Medical Center ER since 1996 and is not surprised by the OME’s findings. “I would say, since I’ve been in the Valley and being an emergency physician for almost the past 30 years here, the same hospital, same location, I think the trend has gone from fists and knives, unfortunately now, to things like guns,” he said.
The OME report states there were 438 homicides in 2022, and 361 were related to firearm use. That is 82% of the total homicides for last year. A graph showed the firearm-caused homicide rate in 2022 was 7.9% per 100,000 people. The report states it’s a 19% jump from 2021. “We see a lot of people in their 15′s, 18′s, to 30′s range involved in a lot of gun related violence,” said Dr. Lovecchio.
The OME report shows the top five ages for homicide victims where firearms were used are 18, 19, 21, 30 and 34. “We’re going in the wrong direction, and I hope as an ER physician and a parent, that things turn the other way around,” said Dr. Lovecchio.
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