Police: Fort Worth saw 70 homicides in 2017, highest number in years

Police say there were 70 murders in the City of Fort Worth in 2017, the highest number in more than a decade. Lauren Zakalik reports.

FORT WORTH - It was a violent year for Fort Worth. According to numbers provided by the Fort Worth Police Department’s homicide unit, 70 people died at the hands of someone else in 2017.

"We had so much time, more time, we could’ve spent with her. She was just 32 years old," Melinda Hamilton, whose daughter was one of those 70 victims, said last fall.

She spoke to as WFAA continued to cover the city's growing homicide rate. By the time the year ended, we had more homicides than we'd seen in at least 14 years, according to Sgt. Joe Loughman. We've seen a 40 percent increase since just 2014.

"No, it's not. It's not the image any city wants," said Fort Worth City Councilman Dennis Shingleton. WFAA shared the numbers with Shingleton, who said they raised lots of questions.

"Are we doing enough? Do we have enough police officers? Do we have enough protection details? And the answer is, we don't know," Shingleton said Tuesday.

He said the council will seek those answers from Chief Joel Fitzgerald in the new year.

Police say the majority of last year's homicides happened in their central division, an area that includes Fort Worth's downtown. That area had 21 homicides in 2017.

Sgt. Loughman said the majority of homicides stemmed from arguments or fights, and the vast majority -- 57-- were firearm-related.

The mayor was unavailable to speak on this Tuesday. WFAA also reached out to see if the police chief or any of his assistant chiefs would address this on camera; a spokesman said they'd pass on the opportunity.

© 2018 WFAA-TV


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