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Los Angeles reaches grim milestone in homicides

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles crossed a grim threshold Sunday as the city unofficially recorded its 300th homicide for the year — a milestone last reached a decade ago.

This year’s spike in violence in Los Angeles — including a 32% increase in shootings — comes as other major cities are grappling with similar rises in crime despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that four killings from Saturday into Sunday morning pushed the city into the 300-death mark for the first time since 2009.

Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Stacy Spell told the newspaper that the official count will come after additional determinations are made, including by the county’s coroner.

“The reality is there are 300,” Spell said. “It’s tragic.”

One victim was a 17-year-old boy riding a bicycle, the newspaper reported. The others were a 50-year-old homeless man, a 20-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman.

Much of the violence this year has occurred in South LA and Central LA. Chief Michel Moore has said he believes some of the increased crime is due to problems related to the pandemic, such as economic struggles and virus-related restrictions on services and interventions.

Last year, LA recorded 253 homicides, the LA Times reported, and 260 in 2018.

In 2009, the city had 312 killings.

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