Criminologist says spike puts the city on track to equal or surpass the number of murders in First Quarter 2012
Tulane Criminologist Dr. Peter Scharf says the first quarter of 2013 could be just as deadly if not deadlier than the first quarter of 2012.
Scharf, who is keeping count, says as of Wednesday morning, the murder count for First Quarter 2013 stood at 40, just two shy of the number committed during the first three months of 2012. By Thursday morning, the count climbed to 41 following a murder Wednesday night in the St. Roch neighborhood.
Scharf says the count would have been lower had it not been for an uptick in murders in March, a month in which 21 murders have been recorded.
Several theories have been put forth to try to explain what's going on.
One is that the strategies employed by the police and the city haven't taken effect yet. Another is that there is renewed drug activity in the city, which has led to drug dealers killing other drug dealers. A third theory is that we're starting to see the effects brought on by a shrinking police force, Scharf said.
"The murder pattern seems so intractable and resistant to any kind of influence that in some ways this is scarier, more frightening than what we saw a few years ago," Scharf added.