Posted 10:19 PM 11/29/2011 : 2011 homicides tie record high
In just about 11 months there have been 28 homicides in Colorado Springs. "That matches our highest homicide year, which was 2007." explains Colorado Springs Police Spokeswoman Barbara Miller.
Why the number is so high, police may never find out. But what we found out when we looked at the cases one by one with police is this year has seen an increase in more random types of killings. "This year it seems to be a lot more random cases... People just leaving a bar at 2 in the morning, having a fight, and as a result they end up dead." says Miller.
Even worse, there's also been a rise in the homicides of children. "We did have an increase in child abuse this year, which is really sad." explains Miller, "We've had five children die this year, suffered at the hands of someone who abused them."
Those numbers are tough to hear. But we did find a bright spot in all of this. Just 4 of those 28 homicides remain unsolved. Police say that's one of the best solve rates in the country.
Those unsolved homicides include the July double shooting of Jose Robles and Jose Gomez on Tia Juana, the September murder of Johnnie Martinez, a homeless man, who was beaten to death in Dorchester Park, and the November murder of William Landrum after he was hit in the head with a softball sized rock outside this sports bar. Police say the first day or so in the investigations is crucial. "They (investigators) try to do a very thorough investigation as soon as the crime happens." explains Miller, "That's when you get the most information and usually the best information because it's fresh in anyone's mind that was there."
But police say they can't do it alone. An ever shrinking budget makes every case that much tougher to cover. They say with a little community effort, hopefully 2012 won't be as bloody. "We try to be as proactive as possible." says Miller, "But in most cases you can't be everywhere all of the time. That's where we rely on the people."