Greensboro police captain releases city’s homicide statistics, gangs and drugs involved in most cases

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Gangs and drugs have led to most of the homicides in Greensboro over the past two years, according to police.

Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division Capt. Nathaniel Davis gave FOX8 these numbers.

In 2016, police investigated 39 homicides in the city. Two of them were ruled to be in self-defense, and one was linked to domestic violence.

Police classified nine of those homicides as gang-related or gang-involved. Another 11 homicides are linked to drug activity and Capt. Davis said that number is probably higher.

Not all of the 39 homicides can be classified. In some cases, there isn’t enough evidence yet. Some homicides don’t fit into those categories, like if a dispute escalates out of control and ends in a homicide.

Of those 39 homicides in 2016, only five of them are believed to be random.

The pattern looked similar in 2017. Out of 42 total homicides, one was ruled to be in self-defense.

Three are connected to domestic violence, 18 are linked to drug activity and five are connected to gangs.

One homicides was ruled to be in self-defense, and only two of them are thought to be random.

Out of 42 total homicides, police determined one to be non-criminal. Two others were “exceptionally cleared” and 19 cases have suspects behind bars. That leaves 20 of last year homicide’s unsolved.

Capt. Davis says these numbers show where police and the community need to target their efforts — by working to fight the opioid crisis and the presence of gangs.

He said opioids are a “serious issue” in Greensboro and said the numbers indicate how much the drug trade is contributing to violence in the community.

They also show that most of the city’s violence is not random and the violence is occurring between a relatively small group of people.

Capt. Davis says many of these homicide victims were directly targeted and other homicides happened because of fights or disputes getting out of control.

Police are investigating one homicide so far in 2018, after a 22-year-old woman was shot and killed outside a home on Alexsandria Road earlier this month.