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Homicides on the Rise in Columbus

Updated: Monday, July 7 2014, 06:54 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS (Steve Levine) -- Teresa Somerville is so used to hearing gunfire in her South Columbus neighborhood, she didn't pay much attention to the shots being fired in April across the street from her Mithoff Street home.
"We actually went to sleep, we are used to hearing gunshots," said Teresa.
The gunfire on Teresa's street ended with a man being killed. 
Teresa's South Columbus Street not the only neighborhood in Columbus being hit with violence.
During the first six months of 2014 there've been 53 murders in the capital, compared to the same time last year when there were 34.
Columbus Police now trying to figure out why the sudden increase. "There's drugs, there's money, domestic relationships, we can't pinpoint it," said Lt. Michael Pagnanelli, with the Columbus Police.
Of the 53 killings this year, nearly half, 25, have been on the Southside, the south east the hardest hit, 15 homicides in that area , compared to just seven during the same time last year.
"That's scary, people have kids and stuff, the bullets could've flown here," said Angelica Hairston, whose family lives in the heart of the violence.
So far this year:
-99% of the homicides have involved guns.
-75% of the victims have been African-American.
-74% of the suspects have been African-American.
Columbus Police are again Fighting Back this summer, conducting a special summer initiative to reduce the violence, by putting more officers on the streets in specific high crime neighborhoods.
While police are increasing presence, Angelica says neighbors need to do their part too.
"We are the type of people that stay to themselves, but we need to get out, maybe start a block watch, that would work to get rid of the violence," she said.Homicides on the Rise in Columbus

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