Unofficial New York Murder Toll Passes 2,000 for Year, Another RecordVIRGINIA BYRNE , Associated Press
Dec. 3, 1990 8:20 PM ET
NEW YORK (AP) _ More than 2,000 people were murdered in New York during the first 11 months of 1990, making the year the city's bloodiest ever, according to unofficial police statistics released Monday.
New York City rang out 1989 with 1,905 murders, also a record high.
The city's 1990 homicide rate continued to increase, as six people were murdered during the period from Sunday night to Monday morning, police said.
The year's record murder rate was partially attributed to the proliferation of handguns on the city's streets, as well as a rising tendency toward violence, said Deputy Inspector Thomas V. Connolly of the department's Office of Management Analysis & Planning, which tracks crime statistics.
Of the 1,461 people murdered in the city during the first eight months of the year, 65 percent were killed by guns, according to the department's official figures, which lag as much as four months behind the unofficial figures.
The homicide figures are subject to change because some deaths originally listed as murder could be reclassified later. Officials expect the number of killings to surpass 2,000, because December traditionally has a high number of murders.
''We've never seen as many guns as we've had this year, we've never confiscated as many, never had as many arrests for weapons,'' Connolly said. He said 9,410 guns were taken off the streets through the first six months of this year.
The motives of many of the killings were not known, but Connolly said many of the murders began as disputes or robberies and escalated because a weapon was used.
Seventy-three percent of the homicide victims were known to the people who killed them, Connolly said.
Most of the murders - 57 percent - occurred on the street. Almost a quarter - 24 percent - happened during the commission of another crime, most often robbery.
The exact date isn't known, but the city's homicide rate passed the 2,000 mark sometime during the last two weeks of November, said department spokesman Sgt. Peter Sweeney.