ALBUQUERQUE — Albuquerque has shattered its annual homicide record, with 117 killings within city limits in 2021.
All but three of the 2021 killings are being investigated by Albuquerque police, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office is investigating another 11 homicides in the areas surrounding the city.
City officials and family members of many victims have pointed to a lack of consequences for repeat offenders as one of the reasons Albuquerque continues to struggle with crime.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina has repeatedly said changes in the judicial system are needed, and in December the city named 14 people to its gun violence prevention and intervention task force to come up with recommendations over the next 12 months.
Over the last 35 years, Albuquerque’s yearly homicide count has averaged about 45 homicides per year, KRQE reported. The average has risen in the last few years, according to federal crime data. Albuquerque homicides now account for more than half of New Mexico's entire yearly homicide count.
Albuquerque’s previous homicide record of 80 was set in 2019. That marked a notable jump from a low of 30 in 2014.
In the first three quarters of 2021, Albuquerque had 111 violent crimes per 10,000 people, according to FBI data. That put Albuquerque in the top 10 most violent cities with populations over 100,000 people.