From deadly shootings to brazen acts of gang violence — the Las Vegas valley saw its fair share of murders and violent crimes in 2018, but a look at the statistics shows a jump in violent crime across the Las Vegas valley. According to Metro Police, their homicide numbers are down, but many areas of town show a significant increase.
But, law enforcement officers hope this year will be a different story.
In North Las Vegas, there were 35 murders, which is up from the 10 murders in 2017. People who live on the north side of the city say they’re fed up with the violence.
“I’m concerned about the welfare of not only my children but the children of others who go to schools in the city,” said Erik Huey, resident.
Among the senseless murders was one that rocked the entire valley: The shooting death of 11-year-old Angelina Erives.
Police say she was shot and killed by suspected gang members who targeted the wrong home in a retaliation shooting.
“Angelina was such a beautiful little girl. She loved everybody. She didn’t know what hate was,” said Anabel Sarabia, Angelina’s mother. “Life’s not going to be easy, it’s not; not without her, but we’re going to make the best out of it.”
Homicide numbers in Henderson also went up. In 2018 there were 14 murders compared to the five in 2017.
Metro Police say murders in Las Vegas were actually down this past year. There were 120 homicides in 2018, but that number was at 141 in 2017.
However, the 2017 statistic does not include the 58 lives cut short during the 1 October massacre.
Gang violence was a major concern in 2018.
“We have about 600 gangs here in Las Vegas,” said Steve Wolfson, Clark County District Attorney.
According to Wolfson, his office is so busy they have a special team that deals with gang prosecutions.
“That shows you how prevalent the problem is, that I have to have a team of lawyers to address the gang situation here in Las Vegas,” Wolfson said. “Violent crime is down, but when you look at the gang members, their violence is up.”