Scary Headline O’ Yer Mornin’: ‘Long Beach murder rate spikes 54 percent’

Normally we’re not in the news business. We’re in the news of the news business. But the Long Beach Press-Telegram has a headline in today’s paper that sure seems like it’s worth paying attention to.

That’s a whole lotta percent!

Even more interesting, from the story:

Statistics obtained by the Press-Telegram show that as of Tuesday the city had logged 162 shootings this year, 72 of which were believed to be gang-related. That is compared with 117 shootings during the same time period last year, 64 of which were gang-related, said Sgt. Aaron Eaton, a Long Beach Police Department spokesman.

The homicide statistics show an even more troubling increase, with 20 murders reported in 2012 as of Tuesday. Seven of the slayings are being investigated as gang-related, Eaton said.

That compares to a total of 13 murders for the same time period last year, six of which were categorized as gang-related, Eaton said.

Now, we’re no statisticians. But those numbers sure seem to indicate the rise in shootings can’t be blamed on gang members. Sounds like a serious follow-up piece is in order.