California State Attorney General Kamala Harris has released her office’s annual homicide report, for 2015. It is an important summary of who was killed, why, and who were the alleged killers. It includes general demographic data as well as data on killings by police and of police. Here are a few of the facts in the report for 2015:
- 8 percent of homicide victims were male and 17.2 percent were female.
- Of the homicides where the victim’s race/ ethnicity was identified, 43.3 percent of victims were Hispanic, 28.4 percent were black, 21.3 percent were white, and 7.0 percent were categorized as “Other.”
- While the largest proportion of Hispanic and black victims were aged 18-29 (46.7 and 44.0 percent, respectively), over half (56.1 percent) of white victims were aged “40 and over.”
- When the victim-offender relationship was identified, 47.4 percent were killed by a friend or acquaintance; 31.3 percent by a stranger; and 14.9 percent by their spouse, parent, or child. Males were more likely than females to be killed by strangers (37.8 vs. 12.3 percent, respectively). Females were more likely than males to be killed by their spouse (25.0 vs. 0.9 percent, respectively).
- Of the homicides where location was reported, 40.5 percent occurred on the street or sidewalk, 23.5 percent in the victim’s residence (includes shared), and 10.9 percent in a residence other than the victim’s.
- The largest proportion of male victims (46.0 percent) were killed on the street or sidewalk, over half (51.7 percent) of the female victims were killed in their residence.
- Firearms have consistently been the most common weapon used in homicides. In 2015, of the homicides where the weapon was identified, 70.1 percent involved a firearm.
- Of the homicides where the contributing circumstance was known, 28.7 percent were gang-related, 27.8 percent were the result of an unspecified argument, 10.5 percent were domestic violence-related, and 7.2 percent occurred in conjunction with the commission of a robbery or burglary.
- Among California’s 35 counties with populations of 100,000 or more, Monterey County experienced the highest homicide rate (13.8 per 100,000). The lowest homicide rate (1.1 per 100,000) was recorded by three counties: Imperial, Placer, and San Luis Obispo.
You can find the full report here.