LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The two most recent killings in Little Rock now have the city in the middle of the deadliest year it has seen in nearly three decades.
The first homicide happened Tuesday afternoon when a still-unidentified woman was shot and killed. Her body was discovered in a car at the scene of a crash in the area of Geyer Springs Road and Nova Lane.
The second deadly shooting was not far away when police said 18-year-old Xavier Johnson was shot Tuesday night in the 10000 block of Republic Lane. Johnson later died from those injuries at an area hospital.
The two deadly shootings, which happened less than 12 hours apart, brought Little Rock’s homicide total for 2021 to 57, marking the deadliest year in the city since 1993.
During that violent time 28 years ago, the capital city faced a gang war, with records showing 76 homicides.
An investigation in September showed that the number of people shot, stabbed or seriously hurt by another person in Little Rock in 2021 stood at 301, three times the total seen in 2015.
Officials with the Little Rock Police Department admit violent crime is up, attributing it to a conflict resolution problem.
While homicide offenses in Little Rock are up 38% over the last five years, it is important to note violent crime has trended upward across the nation.