LA murders have more than doubled compared to this time last year.
Los Angeles officials and residents are calling for a ceasefire.
Police officers and community members gathered at a press conference Friday to discuss the recent rise in gang violence in South LA.
The Los Angeles Police Department shared a report from the press conference, calling the uptick in criminal activity “disturbing,” “unacceptable” and “horrific.”
Authorities on Friday said there has been more gun violence in the area in the first weeks of 2021 than during the same time last year. In fact, newly released LAPD statistics show murders in the city have more than doubled.
“We are seeing military-style weaponry, with high-capacity ammo rounds,” LAPD Deputy Chief Regina Scott said at the press conference, according to a video shared by KTLA. “At one homicide scene alone we collected almost 70 ammo rounds going over four different handguns — at one scene. That is horrific, what we are seeing.”
LAPD statistics show that more than two-thirds of the shootings this year happened in South LA.
The area saw 59 shooting victims in the first two weeks of 2021, compared to seven during the same time last year, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore tweeted on Jan. 16. “Officers have made 105 arrests of individuals with firearms. 130 firearms taken from street. Gang intervention trying, but we need our community and elected officials,” he wrote.
Some have said the COVID-19 pandemic — which has taken lives, shut down businesses, brought on an economic depression, and caused great pain to so many — is partially to blame for the violence.
“The violence in Los Angeles is really out of control,” said LAPD Detective Jamie McBride, speaking on behalf of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, KABC reported. “And to be quite honest right now, in Los Angeles we’re fighting two pandemics. We’re fighting COVID and gun violence.”