HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Hartford’s homicide rate has reached its highest number in decades with the city seeing its 38th homicide of 2022 this week. Police believe the startling trend is caused in part by emotion.
Hartford police said they are seeing arguments escalate quicker than ever and with people in close quarters, armed with guns, they are seeing the tragic consequences.
According to Hartford police, the number of overall shootings in Hartford is down but the homicides are up.
“This has been a painful year, with this homicide rate it is devastating to our whole city,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin (D) said.
Police said more and more of the homicides are arguments that go from 0 to 60 in the pull of a trigger.
“We are seeing this over and over again, these personal differences the personal disputes it seems lately the first choice is to pick up a gun and begin shooting,” Lt. Aaron Boisvert of the Hartford Police Department said.
Hartford police said they have arrested 10 murder suspects and identified more than a dozen, as they continue to work the new cases that come in.
“Police have worked very quickly to identify suspects and make arrests,” Lt. Boisvert said.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said there is no question there is gang or group activity attributing to the homicide rate, but that personal disputes are behind this year’s homicide increase. Police said typical gang intervention and de-escalation techniques will not work with these cases.
“Unfortunately this is an increase in violence I have never seen, and I know Hartford is not alone in this problem nationwide to violence epidemic,” Lt. Boisvert said.
Hyacinth Yennie, Chair of Maple Avenue Revitalization in Hartford, believes simple arguments are at the root of the homicide rate and the increase in gun violence.
Hartford has also had another near record-breaking number as police have seized more than 330 illegal guns, more than one a day every day since January 1st.
“There are too many guns out there and that is a part of the problem, and anybody who tells you it isn’t, isn’t telling the truth,” Mayor Bronin said.
Mayor Bronin said the court system is letting down the community by those committing violent crimes with low bail rates. Mayor Bronin believes there should be stricter consequences for those committing violent crimes.