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Homicides in Spokane could hit record in 2020

So far in 2020, there have been 13 homicides. In 2019 there were seven. The year with the largest number of homicides was back in 2002 with 24.
Credit: Local 24

SPOKANE, Wash — Spokane is statistically on the path to having a record amount of homicides in one year, according to Spokane police.

According Spokane Police Sergeant Terry Preuninger, there have been 13 homicides in the city as of Monday, Aug. 31 in 2020, with the possibility of a 14th that is being investigated to determine if it was a homicide. He said 11 of those cases have been solved.

The two most recent murders include the stabbing death of a 25-year-old man in North Spokane on Aug. 13 and a woman found dead in her car in Browne's Addition with a gunshot wound to the head on Aug. 8. People are facing murder charges in both cases. 

Preuninger said a homicide is defined by the department as a death unlawfully caused by another person. He said these numbers do not include fatal police shootings.

In 2019, Preuninger said there were seven homicides. The year with the largest number of homicides was back in 2002 with 24 homicides, according to Preuninger. The second and third largest numbers of homicides were reported in back to back years in 1995 and 1996, according to Preuninger.  In 1995, there were 23 and in 1996, there were 17. The next largest number, according to Preuninger, was in 1998 with 15 homicide investigations.

Preuninger said when there is a large amount of homicides it often ties up detectives because these cases often take a lot of time to investigate. He said this often leads to patrol officers investigating other felony crimes.