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Public Safety

San Diego Police Grapple With Six-Month Surge Of Violent Crime

Police block Kansas Street in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego after a man was fatally shot, Feb. 1, 2021.
Matthew Bowler
Police block Kansas Street in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego after a man was fatally shot, Feb. 1, 2021.

A "disturbing" increase in violent crime has beset San Diego this year, much of it involving gang activity and the use of largely untraceable "ghost guns," authorities said Wednesday.

Overall, the city has seen a 129% increase in gang-related shootings since Jan. 1, according to the San Diego Police Department. During the six- month period, the SDPD has recovered more than 1,000 guns as part of criminal investigations — nearly 20% of them weapons assembled from kits and lacking serial numbers, making them difficult to link to the criminals who made use of them.

"There has been a disturbing surge of violent crimes in our city," department spokesman Lt. Adam Sharki said. "All too often, these crimes involve gang violence and the use of firearms."

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Over the last two weeks alone, police said the following 17 violent crimes or suspected crimes took place in the city:

— Homicide, 6900 Eastman St., Tuesday;

— Attempted homicide, 4100 Fairmount Ave., Tuesday;

— Attempted homicide, 4400 University Ave., Tuesday;

— Non-fatal shooting, 4300 Alamo Drive, Monday;

— Homicide, 4599 Ladera St., Monday;

— Non-fatal shooting, 4200 Altadena Ave., Saturday;

— Homicide, 300 Market St., Saturday;

— Suspicious death, area of West Washington Street and Interstate 5, Saturday;

— Non-fatal shooting, 54th Street and Imperial Avenue, Friday;

— Illegal discharge of a firearm, 3800 Highland Ave., Friday.

— Non-fatal shooting/armed robbery, 3700 Sixth Ave., Friday;

— Homicide, 2800 Boston Ave., Thursday;

— Homicide/child abuse, 300 53rd St., June 21;

— Non-fatal shooting, 1325 S. 28th St., June 21;

— Homicide, 4100 F St., June 20;

— Homicide, 7800 Burlington Way, June 18; and

— Homicide, 2900 Camino Del Rio N., June 17.

"SDPD is working hard to stop further violence by collaborating with its longstanding community partners," Sharki said. "SDPD is also conducting proactive patrols and investigations focusing on violent crime, gang violence and getting illegal guns off the street."

Department officials urge anyone with information about any of the listed cases to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.