Lexington, KY sets new record for all time highest homicide rate

Black on Black homicides dominate

Based on the best available data, Lexington has already set a new record for the most homicides and the highest homicide rate of any year in the city’s history (or at least since 1974).

Lexington’s former record for its highest homicide rate was in 1976. Then a down trend began. There was a spike in homicides in 1999, setting a new record for the highest number of homicides. This spike lasted three years, before going back into down trend. Homicides went back into an uptrend again in 2017.

Note: In 1974 Lexington and Fayette were consolidated into a “city-county.”

Lexington, KY Homicides:

1976: 23 (190k, 12.1 per 100k) – Former highest homicide rate

1999: 27 (244k, 11.1 per 100k) – Former highest homicide total

2017: 28 (322k, 8.7 per 100k)
2018: 23 (323k, 7.1 per 100k)
2019: 30 (324k, 9.3 per 100k)
2020: 34 (324k, 10.5 per 100k)
2021: 37 (322k, 11.5 per 100k)

2022: 43 so far… (18 are still open) – The highest rate in the city’s history

Lexington is about 16% Black. However, the first thing you notice is most homicides are Black on Black. According to data submitted to the FBI by the Lexington police department for 2012 to 2021, 59.4% of homicide victims 70.1% of known suspects were Black.

Black on Black homicides appear to constitute a significant majority of all homicides in the city. There is a White male, Randy Wise, who was shot and killed while driving last June. A Black male suspect was charged with his murder in August. There is a White on White triple homicide, Latino on White homicide, and several unsolved White homicides.

Lexington open homicide cases according to police:

2017: 7
2018: 9
2019: 9
2020: 8
2021: 20

Louisville, KY Homicides:

2016: 117 (618k, 18.9 per 100k) former record for the highest number and rate of homicides
2017: 107 (620k, 17.3 per 100k)
2018: 81 (618k, 13.1 per 100k)
2019: 92 (618k, 14.9 per 100k)
2020: 172 (632k, 27.2 per 100k)
2021: 188 (617k. 30.5 per 100k) new all time record for both total and rate.

2022: 155 so far…

Kentucky Homicides:

2019: 221 (4,472k, 4.9 per 100k)
2020: 323 (4,477k, 7.2 per 100k) – highest rate since 1990
2021: 365+ (4,509k, 8.1 per 100k) – highest rate since 1983

Note: 2021 homicide total is incomplete and will probably rise.