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Month-by-month: Indianapolis' year of record-breaking homicides in 2020

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Posted at 5:51 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 17:51:52-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Among all the other upheaval and changes experienced in 2020, it was also a record-breaking year for homicides in Indianapolis.

There were 245 total homicides throughout 2020, smashing the previous high of 179 in 2017.

The huge spike in homicides began in February - early in the year. In 2020, there were 25 homicides in February compared to 12 in 2019. The city had a small lull (compared to its 2020 average) in homicides over the next two months, with 10 in both March and April.

The summer is when the spike really started. There were 25 homicides in May, 22 in June, 24 in July and 24 in August. All those months saw the highest number of homicides since at least 2015.

There were 29 homicides in October, averaging nearly one per day.

Though there were 245 total homicides in 2020, not all of them are criminal homicides. Some of them are determined to be self-defense or police shootings that result in no criminal charges. There were 214 criminal homicides in 2020, again a new record high for Indianapolis. There were 152 criminal homicides in Indianapolis in 2019.

Indianapolis is far from the only city to experience increases in homicides in 2020.

Spikes in homicides also occurred in Chicago, Boston, New York, New Orleans and St. Louis.

Explore the timeline below to see where and when every 2020 homicide happened.