Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell responds to city’s high number of homicides

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell discussed the city’s high number of homicides in 2020 in a video released Monday.

Lubbock has seen 35 homicides this year, 19 more than the 16 homicides reported in 2019. Lubbock surpassed the number of homicides reported in all of 2019 in the first four months of the year.

It is important to note that homicide is not the same as a murder. The term is used to describe anytime a person takes the life of another. This includes officer-involved shootings and cases that may be deemed a justifiable homicide.

According to Chief Mitchell, the last time Lubbock experienced such a high number of homicides was in 1986, where 27 homicides were reported in a single year.

However, Mitchell said despite this, Lubbock is still safe.

“You are safe in your home. You are safe in your community,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said 11 of the 35 homicides were related to domestic violence, eight were related to disputes, another eight were narcotics-related, three were officer-related shootings, two were self-defense incidents, one was a result of negligence, and two were random.

The two random homicides occurred on November 8 and December 4. Both involved the suspects shooting and killing strangers in public places.

Mitchell said homicides like these are the exception, and the fact that there were two of them in 2020 is alarming to law enforcement.

“At this point I, nor anyone on my staff can provide a specific reason or any justification for what these suspects did or why,” Mitchell said.

The suspects in all but one of the 35 homicides have been identified, according to Mitchell. That one case happened in the early hours of January 1, when two people were shot and killed outside Level Nightclub.

LPD believes the second victim was the first shooter, while an unknown second shooter killed the first shooter.

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