New York City’s longest streak of being murder-free in recorded history is over after 12 days.
Eric Roman, who had been shot in the head while walking home from the gym with a friend on Friday, died a day later, the first recorded homicide in the nation’s largest city in around 12 days.
While New York City only started recording the number of days between murders in 2003, officials believe that the stretch of no murders was the longest run in at least 20 years.
As the days stretched on without a murder, city officials began to talk more about the situation. On Friday, NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton talked about it in a television interview, saying, “We don’t want to jinx it.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was good police work that led to the streak without a murder.
“This extraordinary streak of safety over the past several days is testament to the hard work of the men and women of the NYPD, and further evidence that New York City is the safest big city in America,” he said.
“It’s also proof we can bring police and the community closer together and keep crime down in our neighborhoods. Our administration is committed to keeping crime at historically low levels, building stronger relationships between police and communities across our city, and strengthening support for our officers.”
The weather likely played a role, some experts noted. Homicides tend to dip in winter months, when colder temperatures keep more people inside.
New York City has been in a stretch of treacherous weather, including snowstorms and record cold conditions.
“Obviously, the weather is helpful,” said Eugene O’Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“There’s tremendous evidence to suggest that if the weather warms up you can easily have a very bad weekend.”
But others see the streak as part of a larger trend that stretches across the country.
“There’s a lot of social forces going on,” said Daniel Nagin, a professor of public policy and statistics at Carnegie Mellon University.
“Crime rates, and homicides [sic] rates in particular, have declined very substantially since the early 1990s.”
The streak itself can be a bit deceiving, as there has been an 18 percent increase in homicides in New York City from the same point last year.
Before Saturday, the last murder in New York City took place on February 1, when two people were killed in separate shootings in the Bronx and Harlem.