A recent analysis on gun violence in the Washington, D.C. area shows that most shootings are committed by a concentrated, small number of high risk young black male adults, who share a common set of risk factors, such as a significant criminal record with prior or active community supervision.
That's according to The Gun Violence Problem Analysis, recently published by The National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR).
Approximately 86% of homicide victims and suspects were known to the criminal justice system prior to the incident, according to the report, and among all victims and suspects, about 46% had been previously incarcerated.
NICJR partnered with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CCJC), the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and other local law enforcement and supervision agencies to conduct a detailed analysis of shootings and homicides in Washington, D.C..
The Gun Violence Problem Analysis examined all 341 homicides occurring in the District of Columbia from January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020, and all 522 nonfatal injury shootings that occurred from January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020
Homicides have risen gradually in the District since 2017 and this trend continued through 2021 as D.C. and other U.S. cities experienced increased violence.
The D.C. homicide rate in 2020 was 18% higher than the city’s 2019 rate.
Other notable statistics from the study include:
- The victims and suspects of homicides and nonfatal shootings in the District of Columbia are primarily male, Black, and between the ages of 18-34.
- At least 64 percent of all victims and suspects had been under any prior or active supervision and at least 76% of homicide suspects had active or prior supervision.
- Of the 622 unique homicide victims and suspects, 83 individuals (13.4 percent) had previously been shot or stabbed.
- In homicide events, between 31-33 percent of victims and 50-57 percent of identified suspects were group-involved.
- Overall, most victims and suspects with prior criminal offenses had been arrested about 11 times for about 13 different offenses by the time of the homicide.
Based on the assessment of data and the series of interviews conducted, the NICJR asserts that this small number of very high risk individuals are identifiable, their violence is predictable, and therefore it is preventable.
NICJR estimates that within a year, there are at least 500 identifiable people who rise to this level of very high risk, and likely no more than 200 at any one given time.
These individuals comprise approximately 60-70% of all gun violence in the District.
Read full Gun Violence Problem Analysis Summary Report here.