Evansville Police: Murder rate drops from last year - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Evansville Police: Murder rate drops from last year

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Evansville Police say despite the city's murder rate being down compared to last year, another crime is on the rise.

Police detectives aren't taking credit for the reduction in violent crimes. They say they have been counting the days since the last murder was reported in Evansville: 181 (at the time this article was written).

The city of Evansville hit a record high in more than a decade with eight reported murders in 2012.

"In 2012, half of our homicides were domestic violence incidents, so they were very personal acts," said Sgt. Jason Cullum. "The violence that was going on wasn't a deal where someone just encountered someone on the street, or there was a drug transaction gone bad, it was a very personal event."

This year police have only been called to three murders. They say all three were related to drugs and money.

David Wayne Royalty was charged with stabbing his aunt, 49-year-old Toni Smith, to death on February 21.

Police said 35-year-old Donnie DeJarnett  Jr. was shot to death by the passenger in his vehicle, Jerry Dulin, on March 5.

Three suspects are awaiting trial for an attempted robbery that ended in the murder of 46-year-old Angie Dixon on June 6.

Evansville Police say while the number of reported murders is down, the number of shots fired calls rose steeply.

"A lot of these encounters on the street where somebody gets angry, a gun comes out and shots are fired," said Sgt. Cullum. "In some of those cases, people are hit. Fortunately this year, the people that have been injured during these gun fire runs haven't died."

According to Evansville Police, witnesses and victims are reluctant to give information for fear of retaliation.

"If we aren't given any information, then we don't even have a starting point in some of these cases," said Sgt. Cullum. "It speaks highly of the department on their ability to put together solid cases and make arrests. But it also speaks highly about the community and their willingness to address violence."

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