‘A lot of the homicides we see are personal’: Lexington police chief addresses city’s gun violence

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 4:03 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Police departments around the country are responding to an uptick in gun violence. Lexington is on track to setting a new record in the number of gun-related homicides.

“We don’t have them happening in a cluster and in just one area. We have them happening in different areas,” Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers said.

The city is now at 20 gun-related homicides this year. That’s eight more than this time last year.

“A lot of the homicides we see are personal. Those are the most difficult to try to offset because you don’t know when they’re going to happen and where they’re going to happen,” Chief Weathers said.

There is a lot of speculation about what’s causing the rise in gun violence. Some say it’s the pandemic, others point to the rise in gun sales.

“I don’t know if the increase in sales have anything to do with that. I do think leaving guns in vehicles unsecured might have a lot to do with it too. Even if you’re keeping guns in your home, keep them secure,” Chief Weathers said.

Lexington has had at least 58 shootings this year. Police are still looking for suspects in more than half the cases. Chief Weathers says much of that has to do with the fact that people in the community are not talking.

“A lot of times we go to a large scene, there’s a large crowd of people. People say ‘we didn’t see anything.’ If you want this to stop, people have to come forward and say something,” Chief Weathers said.

He’s reminding people that they can submit crime tips anonymously, and if you see suspicious activity, report it.

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