The Big Apple is set to hit nearly 500 murders by the end of 2021 – a grim milestone not seen in a decade.
As of Sunday – and with five days left of the year – the NYPD has recorded 479 homicides, driven by a surprising increase in gun violence across the city, data show.
The Big Apple has not recorded more than 500 murders since 2011, when there were 515 in the books, according to the data.
In 2012, the killings dropped to 419. In the following years, they plummeted in the 300s every year, except for 2017, when the city recorded 292 murders.
This year’s total already peaked at 462 in 2020 – a year that saw an increase in fatalities in major cities nationwide as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted almost every aspect of life. This trend continued into 2021, when New York City saw an increase in homicides in the late year.
Over the past month, nearly double the killings were reported during the same four-week span – 41 this year between November 28 and December 26 compared to 24 in the same period last year, NYPD data show.
The latest homicide statistics do not include two men who were shot down in separate incidents earlier in the week.
Curbing the growing number of murders will simply be one of the challenges the upcoming Eric Adams administration will face when the policeman who became a legislator takes over the reins as mayor at midnight on Saturday.
Other major cities across the United States have also struggled to reverse the cumbersome crime trend. In Chicago, homicides approached 800 with days left of the year, according to the Chicago Tribune. Philadelphia is expected to surpass 550 homicides, the highest number ever going back to 1960, according to ABC.