Homicide rates increasing in Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. – Homicide rates are creeping higher in the South Sound.

The number of people murdered in the city of Tacoma has already surpassed last year’s figures – and there are still months to go before the year is over.

Plus, another weekend drive-by shooting left neighbors in the South End of Tacoma on edge.

“There have been some cars broken into, in terms of tools being stolen – but nothing violent,” said Bonnie Laulile.

It’s hard to tell that barely two days ago someone fired a gun from a car along South 57th Street.

“We have felt reasonably safe up until this point,” said Laulile.

Laulile doesn’t live here, but she visits friends several times a week. She says she wasn’t here Saturday when a drive-by shooting happened across the street from her friend’s home.

Bullet holes riddle the siding at one home, and a parked car was also hit by a bullet. Tacoma Police are investigating the incident.

“Tacoma and South Tacoma has a definite reputation,” said Laulile.

The numbers tell that tale. There have already been 22 homicides in the City of Destiny this year – already outpacing last year’s murders.

And community members are taking to the streets.

Just last week concerned neighbors took to the streets demanding the gunfire to end. City leaders also vowed to find solutions.

The city is already working with youth in schools to help curb the violence – and the city’s RAIN program is also reaching out and engaging kids where violence happens.

Tacoma Police have also put together a special emphasis team that works in troubled areas to try to deter the violence.

But along South 57th, some neighbors say until more arrests happen, they’re watching out for each other.

“We want our kids to be able to walk the one block to go to the quickie mart or to play outside with friends, and this puts a real question mark on how to do that and feel safe about it,” said Laulile.