LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Gun violence is increasing across the nation and those numbers are ticking up in Lexington.
So far, there have been at least 20 homicides this year. Last year, around this time there were 12 homicides. and the year before that 9.
The Lexington Police Department reports at least 78 people have been shot this year. Police are still looking for suspects in more than half of those shootings.
“Nothing had changed. The conditions in the neighborhoods are still the same,” said Logan Avritt, program director for FCPS’s M.A.D.E.
Avritt works with at-risk youth.
A former gang member, he tries to encourage young people to say no to guns and follow their dreams. However, he explains that’s becoming harder to do with more guns on the streets.
Studies show gun sales rose during the pandemic and continue to rise. Avritt’s says this making it easier for youth to get a hold of guns.
“It’s very easy. By burglary, or because someone is selling them because they stole them from somewhere or because the gun is in your household,” Avritt said.
President Biden has announced plans to crack down on gun violence. He’s encouraging state and local governments to use funds from the American rescue plan to support community violence prevention programs.
As for Avritt, he says city officials and the community must work together to make neighborhoods safer.
“It’s going to take everybody to bring some positivity back into not just these communities, but the whole world, because the world is suffering from gun violence,” Avritt said.
Mayor Linda Gorton’s office says crime prevention remains a top priority and will be reflected in the mayor’s plan for federal funds.