Atlanta police say homicides up in 2022, but victims knew suspect

Atlanta's police chief and top department officials met with reporters this week to talk about the city's alarming homicide rate and what's behind the rise in the deadly violence.

According to Atlanta police, as of mid-February homicides were up 41 percent compared to this time last year....

"We see victims from all walks of life financially, race, different cities states," Major Carlo Peek said.

There were 24 reported homicides in the city just two months into the New Year.

"As we begin the beginning of this year, crime is down in every category with the exception of homicide," said Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant.

The chief said in the majority of homicides committed the past seven weeks, the victim and suspect knew each other.

"It's very typical of what we saw last year," Chief Bryant said.

"The individuals tend to have some type of relationship and the primary reason we are seeing is escalating argument," said Bryant.

Acts of senseless violence committed, police said, by individuals with an inability to manage anger and conflict. 

"Thirty-three percent of our homicides are attributed to escalating disputes," Lt. Woolfolk said.

APD officials said 90 percent of those homicides were committed with handguns. Many of those weapons had been stolen from vehicles or residences. 

"My plea again is if you are going to be a gun owner be a responsible gun owner.  Lock it up. Take the necessary precautions and help us," said Deputy Chief Charles Hampton.

Homicide detectives have made arrests in about half the cases and say they are working tirelessly to bring closure to the victims' families. 

"That's oftentimes them leaving their homes in the middle of the night, missing their own children's, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, but we are here we are committed to do the job that we are sworn to do," Deputy Chief Hampton said.