LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A double murder near The STRAT in downtown Las Vegas is among 21 murder investigations that have kept Metro police busy over the past month.
In one of the most shocking crimes in the valley this year, two people were killed at an apartment complex — an attack in which a landlord is accused of gunning down tenants in a long-running rent dispute that came to a head just as the eviction moratorium ended.
But the violence hasn’t been isolated. It’s all over the valley and it’s growing fast.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has investigated 100 homicides already this year, as of statistics updated Sept. 3.
Metro reports 101 homicides — a 63% increase over last year at this time, when there were 62 homicides.
In 67 of the crimes, guns were used to kill.
The Downtown Area Command has had 19 of this year’s killings, but the crimes have been widespread. The fewest homicides have come from the far southwest Las Vegas valley in the Enterprise Area Command.
Metro reports 90 of this year’s homicides have been cleared, with 11 open cases. That’s an 89% clearance rate.
Another homicide investigated by Metro involved a teen-ager accused of stabbing a man to death in his home near Summerlin Hospital. The teen had left school when the crime was reported, and was back in class later that day.
Separate from Metro’s cases, Henderson police handled two homicide investigations in August.
And September murder stats got off to a fast start in North Las Vegas, where three men were shot to death in a 2-hour span on Labor Day. A transient arrested the next day told police he was out to kill “anything without a home.”
Domestic violence continues to be a leading factor, figuring into 17 cases this year. That’s a 31% increase over last year at this time.
In altercations resulting in deaths, incidents involving “perceived disrespect” and “drug- or alcohol-induced” altercations have grown dramatically.
And statistics show that minorities are the victims in a wide majority of cases. In 2021, 36 Black males, 20 Hispanic males and four “other” racial groups have been killed, while the victims have been white males 21 times. Statistics for female victims are similar, with nine Black women and five Hispanic women, compared with six white females.
Police report that 16 homicides so far this year have involved gangs. Metro also reports it has a higher clearance rate for gang homicides — 94%.