Record Number of Murders in Yakima

Record Number of Murders in Yakima
YAKIMA -- There have been more murders in Yakima this year than ever before.

There is no doubt about it... 13 is definitely an unlucky number. With just a week left to go in the year, there have been 13 murders in Yakima. That's the most murders Yakima has ever seen.

"There's no rhyme or reason to it," says Sgt. Mike Pollard of Yakima Police. "You can't put a finger on reasons... it's just a matter of how things play out."

13 people gone, 13 families spending this Christmas without their loved ones. And as KIMA discovered, Yakima's 2010 murder rate is nowhere close to being in line with other communities our size.

There was one murder for every 6,500 people in Yakima. Federal Way, Bellingham, and Renton all have similar populations, but their rates are much less alarming. Federal Way has a murder rate of one in 17,000, while Bellingham's rate is one in 40,000. Renton has the most success. There was just one murder for every 86,000 people.

Local police say it all comes down to the types of murders we saw this year.

Four were gang related, while seven others were caused by either drugs or domestic violence. Only two were random killings, leading police to insist your family is not less safe this year than in years past.

Yakima police have solved all but three of this year's homicides. They say most cases took place last winter or spring and the rest of the year has been relatively peaceful.