JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - While overall crime is down in Jefferson Parish, crime stats reveal the murder rate jumped 72 percent this year compared to 2015.
The most recent murder happened Dec. 3rd in Marrero, where two men shot up a house on Caddy Drive, wounding a 16-year-old and killing 10-month-old Xy'ahar Davis.
Jefferson Parish detectives have investigated 38 homicides in 2016 compared to 22 at this time in 2015.
On Dec. 1, local football standout and NFL player Joe McKnight was shot and killed in Terrytown after what investigators say started out as road rage. Detectives said McKnight and his killer, Ronald Gasser, were complete strangers before the shooting - something Sheriff Newell Normand said is unusual when investigating a homicide.
"The McKnight case is one of the only ones this year that comes to mind that we are aware of that they did not know one another," Normand said. "What that is a reflection of is there's conflict, and that we are not resolving this conflict in any other way other than the utilization of a weapon, and taking one's life in order to resolve whatever it is that brings us to that boiling point and what brings us to these tragic outcomes."
Domestic homicides played a major factor in the increase, according to Normand. In November, detectives say Jatory Evans killed Sydney Hanson and her unborn daughter, as well as Hanson's parents, Samantha Hanson and Dwayne Hanson. Evans is accused of murdering his victims, setting fire to their River Road home in Harahan after Sydney Hanson filed a restraining order against him.
"You never know what is going to set somebody off and what's going to cause them to do what they're doing," Normand said. "We're not pausing. We're not stopping and thinking about the consequences of what is about to happen when we go down a particular road, in my view."
But while murders are up, all other major crime is down. Compared to this point in 2015, rape cases are down from 69 to 63, robbery 355 to 354, assault 1,082 to 1,000, burglary 1,735 to 1,370, theft 8,449 to 8,322 and auto theft 634 to 630.
Jefferson Parish detectives investigated 42 murders in 2014 and 43 in 2013.
"It's kind of cyclical," Normand said. "We see that uptick in one year, and the next year the murder rate is half of what it was the previous year. I don't think there's one particular strategy that says we are going to reduce murders - especially when they are relational."
Track murders in Jefferson Parish here.