ST. LOUIS (KMOV/AP) — Nearly 200 people died in St. Louis-area homicides in 2014, but four neighborhoods in the city accounted for most of the increase over 2013.
One hundred and fifty-nine murders were committed in St. Louis through Tuesday — 39 more than the previous year, and the highest number of homicides in the city since 2008, when there were 167murders.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson the number murders increased after July because officers spent more time focusing on unrest then patrolling the streets.
St. Louis County had 32 homicides this year, down from 37 in 2013.
University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist Rick Rosenfeld says the increase in four north St. Louis neighborhoods — Wells Goodfellow, St. Louis Place, the West End and Kingshighway East — was the biggest factor. Rosenfeld says most areas of the city had no significant change in homicides compared to the previous year.