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The month of August sees high number of Omaha homicides: 'We're killing ourselves, killing one another'

Posted at 6:24 PM, Sep 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-06 19:24:03-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Since the beginning of August, nine people have been shot and killed in Omaha, according to data from OPD's homicide unit.

It's an uptick in violence. Typically two to three people are killed each August.

The majority of August's homicides happened north of Dodge; scaring residents who live close by like Nichole Banks and Robert Sanders.

"I hear gunfire on a day-to-day, night-to-night basis. It sounds like it's getting pretty hectic and worse this summer," Banks said.

"We're killing ourselves, killing one another and that's sad. I wish that stopped," Sanders said.

UNO Associate Professor Justin Nix admits August was a "bad" month for homicides. But he saw a similar spike in crime in July 2020.

He says, in cities across the U.S., violence tends to spike over the summers since people are more likely to interact in nicer weather.

Nix says more access to firearms contributes to an increase in violence. Since 2020, Nix points out there's evidence of more gun-carrying in public places.

"You put guns in the hands of motivated offenders, conflicts can turn deadly. Conflicts that otherwise might not have been deadly now have the key ingredient to make it deadly," Nix said.

Teresa Negron is the executive director of YouTurn Omaha, a violence prevention organization. A common thread she's noticed when it comes to homicides is an inability to resolve conflict without aggression.

"Some people talk about how there's not enough things for young people to do. But if you don't know how to resolve any conflict that you have without it turning to violence, that's the problem," Negron said.

Residents suggest different ideas on how to end the violence.

"Try to do positive things with your life if you can, you know, and hopefully, others believe in the individuals and give them a helping hand," Sanders said.

"Just wanting people to step up, speak up, come together as one. As a union to figure out what's going on and what's happening," Banks said.

While August saw an increase in homicide, Nix points out that trends in robberies and aggravated assaults are going down. This is confirmed by data from the Omaha Police Department.

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