DAVENPORT- It was a busy year for homicide detectives in Davenport in 2017, with the city seeing either record-breaking or near-record breaking homicides. All were gun-related.
"In 2017, we had 12 homicides. All those homicides involved gun-fire. It's the highest year that I have seen since I've been here," said veteran Capt. Brent Biggs with the Davenport Police Department.
Capt. Biggs says the latest numbers are more than double the average of the previous four years.
In 2016, there were five homicides, and six the year before. Seven in 2014, and six in 2013.
"What we do see that's a consistent trend is the people know each other, they have connections. So, these are not random," he said when asked about the reason for the deadly uptick.
"It's very taxing on staff. Those 12 occurred within the first ten months of the year, which made it more difficult," said Capt. Biggs.
In some cases, there have been arrests. Some are pending. And, in some cases, police can't get answers.
"What we have run into is, some difficulty with people cooperating. In some of these incidents, it even includes the victim's families. Not as cooperative as they could be," he said.
Capt. Biggs says in many of the cases, the handguns were "stolen or illegally possessed."
Des Moines recorded 26 homicides in 2017, the most since 1978.