Las Vegas Sun

April 21, 2014

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Murders on decline in Clark County

Despite a rash of homicides over the past week, the Clark County is on a pace to see a substantial decrease in murders in 1997 compared with record-setting 1996.

At this time last year, 112 people had been killed. This year, there have been 82 homicides, a 27 percent decrease.

Since Saturday night, 13 people have been killed, including Wednesday's murder-suicide and another body found in a sewer.

In Metro Police's jurisdiction, there have been 76 homicides this year, down 22 from the same time last year.

Metro homicide Sgt. Bill Keeton commented that he can't attribute the decrease in homicides "to anything."

"Everybody's homicide rate is down," he said. "We've been working with police in other jurisdictions, and Southern California's rate is down too."

In North Las Vegas, which has had five this year, down from 14 this time last year, homicide Sgt. Mike Rose likes to think people are improving.

"Maybe good, common sense is breaking out," Rose said. "I'd like to think so."

In Henderson, there's been one homicide so this year compared with zero at this time last year. Henderson finished 1996 with a flurry of homicides, however, ending with eight.

"It's not the luck of the draw," said Dave Burns, spokesman for Henderson Police. "I don't know what to attribute it to. We've always had a low homicide rate. We're fortunate, even though the population continues to grow. This year -- knock on wood -- we're still at just one."

Even though homicides have dropped, Las Vegas recently received national attention because of the Memorial Day weekend murder of 7-year-old Sherrice Iverson, who was raped and strangled in a bathroom at the Primm Valley hotel-casino at the California-Nevada border. Jeremy Strohmeyer, an 18-year-old from Long Beach, Calif., has been charged with her murder. Strohmeyer was arraigned Tuesday in Goodsprings Justice Court.

Las Vegas got the same attention last year when the murder of rap and film star Tupac Shakur garnered international attention. Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting after the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon fight. No one has been arrested in the Sept. 7, 1996, shooting on East Flamingo Road near the Strip.

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