Data Shows Significant Decrease in Homicide Rate from December 2023 to January 2024

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According to D.C. Witness data, there was a 59 percent decrease in homicides in January when compared to numbers from December 2023. 

January had nine homicides and 13 non-fatal shootings, with all homicides this month being shooting-related. December 2023 had 22 homicide incidents.

Moreover, January saw the same number of shooting-related homicides as January 2023.

In the early morning hours of the New Year, 18-year-old Ashlei Hinds was shot and killed on the 4300 block of Military Road, NW. She had been attending a New Year’s Eve party at a hotel when a shooter opened fire. 

Jelani Cousin, 18, was identified as the suspect. On Jan. 2, he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder while armed. This incident marked the first homicide of 2024 in Washington DC.

On the morning of Jan. 3, police responded to a call regarding human remains on the 1400 block of Canal Street, SW. According to documents from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), an autopsy revealed that the victim was Harry Keels, 42, who died from a gunshot wound. 

Keels had been reported missing on Nov. 6. MPD has yet to arrest anyone in connection to the case.

A crime spree that began on Jan. 29 as a carjacking and shooting led officers pursuing the suspect, Artell Cunningham, 28, into Maryland.

Michael Gill, a 56-year-old ex-Trump official, was in his vehicle on the 900 block of K Street, NW, when Cunningham entered the car and shot him. The suspect fled the scene on foot.

A few hours later, Alberto “AJ” Vasquez, a 35-year-old father of two, was shot and killed after giving Cunningham his car keys on the 300 block of N Street, NE. 

Cunningham was later killed in a police shootout in neighboring Prince George’s County after carjacking two more vehicles and firing at two police cruisers. He was believed to be experiencing a mental health crisis at the time.

Gill was transported to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Feb. 3. 

D.C. Witness data also shows that, as of Feb. 1, at least 13 incidents reported in January do not have named suspects or arrests in connection with their cases. 

January 2024’s nine homicides overall, make it the lowest number of homicides in January since 2017.

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