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Violent crime in Columbia trending down

The first day of 2019 saw Columbia police working a shooting that left a teenager with a gunshot wound.

2018 also started out with violent crime. Anthony Warren was shot to death by a security guard during a fight at a Waffle House in north Columbia.

Despite a violent beginning to 2018, crime numbers provided to the Missouri State Highway Patrol by Columbia police show violent crime taking a downward trend from January to September.

Numbers from October to December were not available as of Wednesday. ABC 17 News has reached out to the Columbia Police Department to get those.

From 2015 to 2018, reported violent crimes stayed between 500 and 600 a year. In 2018, there were 325 violent crimes reported up until September.

Violent crimes include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Shootings would fall under the aggravated assault category.

While numbers from Oct. to Dec. were not available for Columbia, the police department sent out press releases regarding nearly two dozen violent crimes that happened during those three months. This included 3 homicides, several shootings, and a few armed robberies.

Columbia ended 2018 with a total of 7 criminal homicides, which was down from last year’s 20-year high of 9. There were 6 homicides in 2016.

Of those 7 homicides, there are 5 where police made at least one arrest in each. There are still 2 homicides that remain open with no arrests made: the shooting deaths of Charles Hayes Jr. on Rice Road, and Chase Hayes on Worley Street.

Arrest wise, Columbia police reported making more than 400 arrests for violent crimes in 2018 from Jan. to Sept., and just over 2,000 arrests for property crime.

This was down from 2017, when police made 764 violent crime arrests and 3,059 arrests for property crimes.

ABC 17 News will update this story with numbers from Oct. through Dec. as soon as they are available.

Here is a link to the numbers on the Highway Patrol’s website.

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