DETROIT
09/10/2012 12:40 pm ET

Detroit Murder Rate Jumps 5.2 Percent, 2012 Summer Ends With 20 Homicides In 10 Days

Detroit's murder rate has jumped 5.2 percent from last year, after a string of homicides have left 20 people dead in 10 days.

A Detroit Police Department report released Sunday stated 261 homicides have been counted in the city since the beginning of the year, compared to 250 during the same time period in 2011. In the same period, 863 non-fatal shootings occurred, 23 fewer than last year.

But on the day of the report, two more fatal shootings took place, bringing the murder tally up to 263 since January. Public Information Officer Yvette Walker told The Huffington Post Monday the additional deaths both occurred Saturday, one on the 1100 block of Schaefer Highway and the other at McNichols Road and Conant Street.

Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. blamed the spike in homicides on "senseless acts of violence between known acquaintances."

Just last month, Godbee held a public meeting to applaud police efforts to cut crime. For the second quarter of 2012, the homicide total was down 15 percent to 90 deaths, a statistic delivered at the meeting just after a three-year-old was shot on the city's east side, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The 20 most recent murders were the result of 17 shootings and one fatal stabbing.

"This is not just a law enforcement issue," Godbee said in Sunday's statement. "The increased prevalence of individuals choosing to use acts of violence to settle disputes between friends, acquaintances and more disturbingly family members must be addressed, if we are to stop the violence in our communities."

In one of the 11 cases that are closed or have a known suspect, a man who shot four, killing two after an argument at a party, had to make two attempts to get arrested. Ex-con Adris McCullough tried to turn himself in at a fire station. Officers were called but did not arrive on the scene, so McCullough eventually went to a precinct to get arrested.

A 10 percent pay cut and 12-hour shifts were recently imposed on the DPD as Mayor Dave Bing cuts the city's budget across the board. On Friday, police officers walked out of a meeting between the union and city officials, WXYZ reported, after the city proposed changes to the pension plan and cuts to health benefits for some spouses post-retirement. A follow up meeting is scheduled for Sept. 17.

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