The South Bureau saw a 50% increase in killings and 146% uptick in shootings.
Gang disputes and the killing of homeless people are at the center of the surge in murders in Los Angeles this year, amid a national trend in gunplay, according to police figures.
The city is steadily approaching 300 homicides this year, a number not seen in more than a decade. As of Wednesday, there were 274 murders in the city, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Fewer than half have been solved. Many of the victims have been homeless and those connected to gang activity, according to police data. Most have been in two neighborhoods.
More than half of the 80 homicides in Central Los Angeles were gang-related and more than 30 of the victims were homeless people. In the Los Angeles Police Department’s South Bureau, 81 killings had suspected connections to gang activity and several were against homeless people, according to the newspaper.
The South Bureau saw a 50% increase in killings and 146% uptick in shootings from August through the first week of October, according to the Times.
In the same time frame, southeast Los Angeles saw a 233% increase in shootings.
“Where is the lid on this?” LAPD Chief Michel Moore asked earlier this month during a news conference to address a spate of gun violence in South Los Angeles. “Where is the top? The resorting of gunplay has amplified.”
The LAPD did not immediately respond to calls and messages from Fox News.
In parts of the city patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, there were 158 homicides as of Monday.
Those areas recorded 141 killings for all of last year. According to figures, there were more than 35,000 people living on the streets of Los Angeles. Many are victims of violence and property crimes.
The uptick in crime follows a national trend, amid increasing distrust between communities most impacted by violence and law enforcement.
Moore said the department was deploying officers in strategic ways to curb crime. Officers in the Metropolitan Division, the unit that focuses on crime suppression, have been redeployed to help investigate shootings, according to the Times.
Police union officials have blamed city leaders for perceived vilification of police officers and the rise in crime, which they said will be compounded by the slashing of the police budget by $150 million.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers, urged the civilian-led police commission to formulate a crime reduction plan.