Updated at 11:01 a.m. on Dec. 31

2017 marked an increase in violent crimes across Guilford County that left 64 people dead.

Most were shot to death.

By comparison, 46 people were killed in 2016. The tallies include justified homicides.

“It’s concerning,” said Greensboro police Capt. Nathaniel Davis. “Why are so many people resorting to violence?”

As of Friday, the Greensboro Police Department had recorded 42 homicide victims for the year. That surpasses last year’s 39 killings and marks the most the city has seen in one calendar year.

In High Point, violent deaths nearly tripled.

In 2016, High Point investigators opened seven homicide cases. Officers reached that number within the first five months of 2017.

On Saturday night, Charles A. Anderson, 38, became the 20th homicide victim as he walked down Amos Street around 8:30 p.m. Four men, who are now in custody, allegedly opened fire on him from inside a house at 523 Amos Street. 

Paramedics tried to save Anderson who later died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. 

Investigations showed High Point victims ranged from those who were targeted to those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A father is accused of killing his daughter Andrea Allen, 21, and estranged wife, Vickie Allen, 45, in a parking lot.

Jack Little, 65, was shot and killed and several guns were stolen from the Army Navy store he owned.

A father is accused of killing 27-year-old Charlene Sade Alvarez, the mother of his children.

Tavarus Malachi died on Aug. 5 after being one of seven people wounded in a drive-by shooting during the memorial service for Alphonso Macer Jr. Macer, 35, was killed the week before in a separate drive-by shooting.

And 16-year-old Na’Kayla Bynes was shot and killed, police said, because a stepfather was angered that his son had friends over while he was away.

High Point made arrests in 14 of its slayings.

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, which typically sees few killings each year, responded this year to one fatal shooting with two victims.

Deputies charged 19-year-old Sean Tyler Simmons in the Aug. 23 killing of his father Brian Kirk Simmons, 45, and his father’s friend, Barry Dale Rodgers, 53.

Greensboro officers have responded to the most homicide calls and more than 500 shootings this year.

Officers tried to comfort family members of Tony Ray Battle, 37, who was killed during a shooting outside a local Waffle House.

They found Jamison Logan Hovarth, 22, after he had been struck by a truck during what police said was an argument with a friend.

They responded to the deaths of Derek Brown Sr., 25, and Sharease Haley, 24, a mother and father shot and killed on the front porch of Brown’s house while their children were alone inside.

They looked for answers in the death of 18-year-old Kate-Lynn Simmons, who was standing with others in the breezeway of a building when a bullet struck her.

Davis, who oversees the police department’s homicide unit, said he is concerned by the increase in violence.

Greensboro isn’t the only city in North Carolina experiencing this rash of violence.

Raleigh police investigated 27 homicides this year, the highest recorded number in more than a decade, according to WCNC. 

Charlotte has experienced 83 homicides this year, as of Dec. 28. The city hasn't seen homicide rates this high in 25 years, the television station reported. 

“We can’t attribute all 42 homicides to gang violence though,” Davis said.

That has led Davis and his officers to look at trends and learn why residents are turning to violence, to find community partners to help stop the bloodshed and to develop innovative ways for the department to turn things around.

“Going into 2018, I’m asking myself what can I do to bring awareness to the increase in violence,” Davis said.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily morning newsletter.

Contact Danielle Battaglia at 336-373-4476 and follow @dbattagliaNR on Twitter.

Recommended for you

Load comments