Tulsa On Track To Record-Breaking Year For Homicides
TULSA, Oklahoma - The year isn’t even halfway over and Tulsa is already on pace to set a record number of homicides.
Over the last four years, Tulsa has seen its homicide rate grow.
There was a drastic jump last year and it’s continuing this year.
"I know we're busy because I feel it and I'm living it,” said Sgt. Dave Walker.
Sgt. Walker was up most of the night, working the latest case.
"It becomes cumbersome when you're going back to back to back,” said Walker.
Since 2014, the number of people killed in Tulsa has gone up, peaking at 82 in 2016.
But compared to the same time last June, Tulsa already has 13 more homicides this year.
"When they are coming so quick, we don't have time to sit back and critique it and say, 'How are we going to prevent the next one?'" Walker explained.
Instead, they focus on catching the latest killer.
"Our job is to solve each murder as they come and that's what we're doing diligently as we go,” he said
Along the way, they pick up clues that can help paint a bigger picture of what's driving violent crime in Tulsa.
"Knowing who they are and what they are doing, and seeing patterns that are going on,” Walker stated. “We get patterns that are happening right now, so we have to do something."
He's not the only one noticing the trend. Comments on Facebook have similar reactions.
"Oh no, not again,” one comment read.
Someone else added, "Something needs to be done.”
Walker says keeping guns out of the hands of criminals is one part of the problem and says the other is people reporting threats when they see or hear them.
"You have a responsibility to everybody here, to let us know then,” he said.
He says the number one thing the community needs to do to help stop the homicides is educating children about the dangers of guns so they don't grow up to misuse them.
"If they want to help, let's find the program that will work to start saving the next generation,” he stated.
Again, the number of homicides in Tulsa this year is 44.
Walker says it took until August 22nd of last year for the city to reach that number.