LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police's lead homicide lieutenant says the numbers of deaths are up almost 20 percent compared to last year at this time, and police believe they know why.
It has been a busy year for Metro's homicide section, and it is not a question of if, but when the next murder will happen.
Lieutenant Ray Steiber is in charge of the homicide section. He says 70-hour work weeks are not uncommon since the violence has picked up.
Last week, for example, two unrelated, late-night murders happened 11 minutes apart.
"There are people out there that are more apt to go to deadly violence when there is a dispute, and that's what we’re seeing,” Steiber said. "You learn to manage, and that's what I do, I manage my time. We in our section, the detectives that are responsible for investigating homicides, we learn how to manage that."
Homicide detectives have learned to do more with less, because Steiber says manpower is an issue. There are 25 percent fewer homicide detectives working cases compared with three years ago when Steiber took over. The unit rate on murders remains very high at 75 percent so far this year, while the national average is 59 percent.
"The majority of what we see in all homicides that occur, somehow, some way, the two involved parties, the victim and the suspect are related or acquainted somehow. It is not too often that we get the 'who done it?'" Steiber said.
For the murders that still haven't been solved, Steiber says detectives have good leads, and he is confident those killers will be brought to justice. He admits it takes a huge effort by a lot of people as investigators can't do it alone.
"We have one shot at solving a homicide. We don't get chances to make mistakes,” Steiber added.
Metro Police said it's very important if you think you may have information on any crime to report it.
You can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.
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