Homicide rate rises in San Jose


As recently as Tuesday night there was a non-fatal shooting, also a string of killings over the weekend has prompted the meeting between San Jose's mayor and the police chief. They'll be looking at the homicide numbers and trends to see if there is anything additional police can do.

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For a city that's used to boasting the title of "safest big city in America"-- San Jose has been losing that accolade over the last year because of a rise in violent crime.

Police were successful in making arrests related to each of this past weekend's three house party homicides. Three men were killed within five miles of each other in East San Jose, although police say none of these homicides are connected.

A woman was also injured over the weekend in drive-by shooting. This recent flurry of violence has captured city leaders' attention; who realize the need to hire more officers is entangled with budgetary constraints. But even with a stretched resource of officers, the homicide unit has arrested a suspect in 85-percent of this year's homicides.

Even so, the number of killings has been rising. This past weekend's homicides brings the number in San Jose to 26 so far this year. In 2007, there were 33, up from 29 homicides in 2006.

Investigators are looking into whether any of the recent violence is gang-related. Gangs are a known problem in San Jose, and this is one of the topics on the agenda when Mayor Chuck Reed and Chief Rob Davis meet on Wednesday.