Police: Higher violent crime rate not alarming - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Police: Higher violent crime rate not alarming


A wave of gun violence this week has killed four people in Huntsville, and the crime is driving up the city's number of homicides and death investigations.

Police reported they have investigated 22 murders to date, up from the 2012 total of 14. Investigators do not have an answer as to what is behind the growing homicide rate. They said it could be an isolated trend – a year that just happens to have more murders – or it could be a sign of a long-term trend of violence.

Many of the murders this year took place during drug-related shootings. Several were the result of domestic violence. Investigators said although the number is higher this year, they do not consider it to be alarming.

"Do we have killers running around out there? No, this is not a situation where larger cities and their crime rates and problems are coming to Huntsville. That's just not the case. Yes, this is more than what we have had historically, but it is certainly much lower than other cities of our size," said Sergeant Floyd Smith of Huntsville Police Department's Major Crimes Unit.

Investigators said it is difficult to identify suspects when the community is reluctant to come forward with information, and that it is important that people in the community come forward with any information they have about those cases.

"We are only as effective as our citizens allow us to be. People know who did these things. People know and can bring forth the evidence to allow us to close our cases and make arrests," said Sgt. Smith.

There are a few cases that remain unsolved, such as the murder of Alonzo McGhee and the stabbing deaths of two elderly brothers at a church. Police said those cases remain at the forefront of this year's unsolved cases.

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