St. Louis police: Homicides up 60 percent so far in 2015 from last year
As of August, homicides in St. Louis are up 60 percent compared with last year, according to recently released statistics from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
The department reported 136 people had been killed as of last month, though there have been more homicides since then.
Other crimes have also increased. Armed robberies spiked 60 percent. Area businesses also saw a more than 100 percent increase in robberies since last year.
More than 1,500 people were victims of aggravated assaults involving a gun as of last month, marking a nearly 44 percent increase since last year.
Last month, Chief Sam Dotson blamed the city's increase in violence on Missouri's lax gun laws. He also said the city's seen a nearly 70 percent increase in stolen guns so far this year.
"There's not even a law in our state that requires you to report your gun stolen, so I only know there's a 70 percent increase because people have reported their guns stolen," he said. "I don't know many guns have been stolen that are not reported."
Overall crime is up about 13 percent so far this year compared with last year.