After the Baltimore City authorities celebrated a relatively calm January, February came in roaring like a lion. There were a total of 24 reported homicides in February in Baltimore, up from 14 in January. Nineteen of February’s 29 days saw at least one homicide, with February 21st being the deadliest with 3 homicides that day. As always, you can check the charts and graphs page for visualizations of these data.
As stated above, February had 24 homicides in 19 days. That translates to a rate of 0.66 homicides per day, higher than January’s 0.45 homicides per day. Most of the homicides occurred on Friday (5), followed by Monday, Thursday, and Sundays (4 each), and then Wednesday and Saturday (3 each), and one homicide on a Tuesday. Most of the homicides (15 of 24) happened between 7pm and 4am. This was a departure from January, when most homicides occurred between 4pm and 10pm.
You can always see a map of all homicides for the year here. While January seemed to have most of its homicides concentrated on the eastern part of the city, February saw an increase in homicides in the western part of Baltimore. The Bridgeview/Greenlawn neighborhood had three homicides in February (none in January), Milton-Montford, East Baltimore Midway and Mondawmin saw two homicides. A total of 15 neighborhoods saw at least one homicides where there had not been any in January.
All police districts saw at least one homicide, but the Western District saw 9, far an above the 5 homicides seen by the Eastern District. The Southwest and Northeast districts saw 3 homicides each, and all other districts (except the Northern District, which saw none) saw one homicide.
In February, 22 of the 24 homicides were by shooting. One was a shooting in which the victim, sitting in a car, was set on fire. The other two homicides were stabbings. One incident, a double homicide, had a 15 year old and a 20 year being shot by a 16 year old.
In February, 20 of the 24 homicide victims were Black, 3 are still yet to be determined (BPD has not released their identities), and 1 was Hispanic. Sixteen of the 24 victims were between the ages of 18 and 34. Like January, the average age of homicide victims in February was 29 (the median was 25). The youngest victim was 15 and the oldest was 64.
For the first time this year, we are using a forecasting tool to give a forecast on the number of homicides expected by the end of 2016. As with all forecasts, the accuracy of the final number will be in flux until the last few weeks/months of the year, but we feel some confidence in the range based on two months of data. In any case, take it with a grain of salt.
This model takes into account the number of homicides per month for the last 8 years as well as the number of homicides per month last year, which was an exception year and many of the same factors that led to the 344 homicides last year are probably in play this year. Based on all of these data points, our current forecast for 2016 is that there will be between 305 and 363 homicides.
NOTE: Three homicides from January were re-classified by the Baltimore Police Department as non-homicides. One was a hit-and-run accident, another was a self-inflicted gunshot wound (accidental), and the third was deemed a suicide (victim stabbed himself twice in the chest, in an alley, in the middle of the night, without any explanation).