The number of homicides in Richmond this year stands at 40, so far, marking an increase over 2011. Detectives are still looking for killers in 14 of the deaths.
The flashing blue lights illuminating the night and the crime scene tape blocking off the streets never get easier to see for Richmond residents. This year, they've seen them 40 times. There were 37 homicides in 2011. Many hope the number doesn't rise again, instead of meeting 2010's stat of 41 killings.
Many of the 14 cases still open come from the deadliest month in the city since 2005. Eleven people were killed in September; five killers are still on the loose.
One case drawing a lot of attention from police and the public is the death of Paresh Patel. The medical examiner confirmed recently the gas station owner was shot multiple times in the head. The investigation spans two jurisdictions and involves Richmond, Chesterfield and the FBI.
Other families have been looking for answers for almost a year. 21-year-old De'Shawn Mayo was 2012's first victim. He was found shot to death in the street on January 7th. Still, police have not arrested a suspect.
"I forgive you," his mother Cassandra Mayo said. "Just please come forward. Maybe it was an accident. I don't' know what it was. I forgive you. But please don't make me suffer any more than what I'm already suffering."
Many families of murder victims have gotten some closure this year. If you look at the numbers the other way around, police say they've cleared more than 60 percent of the cases.
There was another fatal shooting last week, but police tell us that will not add to the overall number, because it has not been ruled a homicide.
If you have any information in these murders, call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.
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