TPD: ‘Too early to suggest record high in homicides this year’

The new-year often yields broken resolutions. But some Tallahassee residents have broken more than just personal resolutions -some have broken the law.

The month of January has not ended and area residents have watched the local news and read stories in newspapers about homicides in their community.

In previous years the average number of homicides was eight to ten. So far, two homicides have occurred in the city and one has happened in the county. However, Leon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating another possible homicide, which could raise the county figure to two as well. 

Does this mean that Tallahassee is on track to have a record high number of homicides in 2011?

 Not necessarily.

According to David McCranie, spokesperson for the Tallahassee Police Department, the recent murders are not a sign of things to come.

“It is too early to see trends or patterns in the crimes committed. Most of them or drug related or domestic and very few of are done by strangers, but there are so few of them to pattern them.”

Sergeant James McQuaig of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said there was one homicide that the Sheriff’s Office investigated earlier this month.

McQuaig said that while the number is low there is no indication of how many there can be based on previous years.

“If we’re lucky, hopefully this will be the only homicide that we have all year. The thing is that the number of homicides we have is relative. Sometimes we have one or two, but there have been times where we’ve had upwards of 12 to 15 in a year.”

Many times people suspect that certain areas are more prone to homicides, but that is not always the case.

McCranie stated that it is hard to pinpoint an area known for that kind of activity.

“There are not any particular areas that these homicides take place in. There are just too few to be persistently watching for them.”

McQuaig also pointed out that the homicides that his department has dealt with have no racial or economic correlation, but there is one commonality between them.

“The homicides have been in every ethnic background, every class of citizen, and it encompasses us all. But I must say that most of our cases are domestic.”

The first homicide in Tallahassee was that of Andrew Hale, 23, who was shot while attempting to rob Bill’s Mini-Mart at 1020 S. Magnolia Drive on Jan. 11.

Rasheed Lasaki, a 25-year-old criminal justice student at Florida A&M was shot gunned down in front of Greystone Place Apartments, located at 2416 Jackson Bluff Road on Jan. 18. TPD arrested and detained 21-year-old Brandon Wells on Tuesday in Lasaki’s murder.

In the county, 60-year-old Nina Savary was shot and killed by her stepson, 45-year-old Stanley Savary Jr., at 10085 Rose Road on Jan. 12.

On Wednesday, two bodies were found in a home in western Leon County. While the Sheriff’s Office had not ruled on the cause of death upon its initial investigation, the deaths are being investigated as suspicious and the autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

Congressional Quarterly, which publishes books, directories, and periodicals, in addition to compiling lists about American government and politics, ranked Tallahassee 92nd, in its list of America’s most dangerous cities.