2012 ends with Flint tying previous homicide record - WNEM TV 5

2012 closes with Flint tying previous homicide record

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FLINT, MI (WNEM/AP) -

Several of Michigan's largest cities already have eclipsed last year's homicide totals.

Murders in Detroit, Saginaw and Grand Rapids are up over 2011. The 66 homicides reported through Monday morning in Flint are tied with that city's 2011 tally. That latest homicide was due to a shooting that left one man dead.

WOOD-TV reports that Grand Rapids reached its 18th homicide Saturday night. The number still is preliminary. There were 17 murders there last year, compared to nine each in 2009 and 2010. Grand Rapids recorded 23 murders in 2006.

Saginaw surpassed last year's 12 homicides by July. Through Dec. 22, there were 30 murders in the city.

Detroit recorded 344 homicides in 2011. Police reported 375 as of Dec. 16.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling released a statement addressing the homicide record, and part of that statement is posted below:

"The plague of gun violence claimed too many lives this year in Flint. With more than 60 lives lost in homicides, the City has again reached a dreadful record.

Solving the problem of crime and violence involves dealing with the core economic challenges of being a post-industrial city. Additionally, with similar problems in Detroit and Chicago, it is clear that the problem of illegal and military-style guns is widespread and is a major contributing factor to the homicide levels. 

The City's public safety plan will continue to be a top priority in 2013. Local steps will be taken to improve response times, enforce tough penalties, and work better with the community. But a comprehensive solution to gun violence requires serious reforms at the federal and state levels to prevent dangerous individuals from attaining firearms and to get military-style assault weapons off our streets.  

More than 200 people nationally end up in hospital emergency rooms on a daily basis because of gunshot wounds. In Flint we have been reminded again of the tragic costs of gun violence."

Flint also recorded 66 homicides in 2010. The previous record was 62, set in 1986.

Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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