Arguments and robberies are motives in most 2013 homicides - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Arguments and robberies are motives in most 2013 homicides

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Of the 36 murder cases so far in 2013, police have cleared 26 of them. That leads to a more than 70-percent clearance rate right now, which is high when compared to cities of a similar size.

36 times this year Richmond neighborhoods have heard the sounds of police sirens. 36 times officers have put up the crime scene tape and canvassed the area. 36 times detectives have notified families their loved ones' lives were taken.

The questions asked frequently are why and what was the motive. NBC12 broke down the numbers with Richmond Police. We've learned twelve of the cases fall under the robbery category and 17 of them list arguments as the motive.

"This is our city and people are going to disagree," Richmond Police Major Steve Drew said. "They're going to have those issues where they don't agree but gunplay and violence-there's no win there."

The argument category, which includes domestic disputes, covers the motives in almost half of the cases.

"People dealing with differences are so quick to pull out a firearm and use that firearm or take things to the next level," Drew added.

Those two motives are the theories behind most of the ten cases Richmond Police still have yet to close. They say they have good leads on several of them, but still need your help in certain crimes.

They include the murder of Garrick Ellis, the teen who was gunned down on East Brookland Park Boulevard, Angel Hernandez, who died during a robbery, Larry Pittman, who was also killed in a robbery, this time on Walcott Place, and a double homicide in October on Labrook Drive.

Right now, information you may have can help give families closure.

"We know that people were outside," Major Drew explained. "We know that people were in the area and that bit of information that someone might not think is important, that could be one of the missing elements that we need in that case."

Other motives this year include child abuse and drugs. In the past, police tell us the city saw more drug-related murders associated with street corner violence and fights over territory.

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