Las Vegas has seen its murder rate spike this year, with the latest victim the 115th of 2013 in the City of Sin.
That total, however, remains behind an earlier projected murder total of 131 for the year. The city would need an extremely bloody holiday week to reach that figure. The projection, by the City Rating web site, was based on 10 years of crime data.
In 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada, experienced a record low — for recent history — number of homicides, with just 84.
The latest murder victim in Vegas is Anthony Wayne Walker, 27. He was found with a gunshot wound to the stomach in the garage of a home at Carey Ave and Hollywood in Las Vegas at about 6 pm Sunday evening, as reported by Associated Press.
Police responded to a call of shots fire in the area and discovered Walker lying wounded. The man was quickly transported to a nearby hospital, but doctors were unable to stop his injures from claiming his life.
Police have no suspects in the killing, but believe it occurred during a robbery. Witnesses reported seeing two black men fleeing the scene in a white van.
After its relatively quiet 2012, the year started badly for Las Vegas, with an outbreak of bloodshed that left 27 people dead before the end of March, according to a roundup of the killings in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The highest-profile incident occurred on February 21, when three people died in a wild, guns-and-traffic melee that started with an argument between an aspiring rapper and a self-proclaimed pimp.
Maserati-driving rapper Kenneth Cherry Jr. was killed in a hail of gunfire that allegedly came from Ammar Harris, who boasts in his online profile of a fast, expensive lifestyle financed by procuring women as prostitutes.
When Cherry, who performed under the name “Kenny Clutch,” was struck by the bullets, his vehicle accelerated, smashing into a taxicab. Both the taxi driver and female passenger were killed. Harris will stand trial for the murders next year.
The 27 total homicides in the first three months of this year were up from just nine in he same time-period the year before.
With most of the homicide total, as compiled by the Vegas Murder Watch web site, coming as the result of firearms attacks, Nevada continues to have among the nation’s weakest gun laws. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence graded Nevada an “F” on its annual “report card” of gun regulations from state to state, rating the strength of the state’s gun regulation 32nd out of the 50 states.
Nevada requires permits only to carry weapons in a concealed fashion. Gun sales, ownership and the right to carry non-concealed weapons require no permit and are largely unregulated.