Nashville criminal homicides most in more than a decade

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Criminal homicides in Nashville in 2016 rose to their highest levels in more than a decade.

Media outlets report that there were 84 criminal homicides in the city last year, five more than 2015’s total and the largest number since 97 people died in 2005.

At the same time, the year saw a 40 percent drop in youth killings over 2015, when 20 youths were slain. Twelve juveniles were killed in 2016.

Related: Nashville on pace for dramatic drop in teen homicide victims

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson lamented the violence but says the city’s recent Youth Violence Reduction Initiative has been working and its strategies should be expanded upon.

More than 80 percent of 2016’s homicide victims were killed with firearms and more than 60 percent of the victims were African-American.

Nashville’s all-time high for homicides was 112 in 1997.