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2013 homicide rates rise in Shreveport, Bossier City - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

2013 homicide rates rise in Shreveport, Bossier City

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When Frederick Henderson, 23, died of a gunshot wound before daybreak the morning of Sept. 11, he became the center of Shreveport police's 21st homicide investigation in 2013. Investigators soon charged Breonne Whitaker, 17, with 2nd degree murder, but Henderson's death also marked a statistics change for SPD. With that 21st case, they surpassed the 2011 and 2012 homicide totals.

Related article: Neighbors wonder if recent Shreveport homicides motivated by hate

Sgt. Shawn Hinderberger is on patrol after almost a decade in Shreveport Police's homicide unit. He worked on several of 2013 murder cases, but Hinderberger is now tasked with preventing violent crime rather than reacting to it. As he checks the streets for suspicious behavior and waves to residents in their yards, he says there is only so much police can do to prevent the rash decisions behind most homicides.

"It can only get so low, especially with a city this big," Hinderberger said of the rising homicide rate. "It can't maintain that low of a number. Things are going to happen. People snap and commit murders. It just happens."

2013 brought an up-tick in the most serious crime. There were 29 Shreveport homicides last year as opposed to 20 a piece in 2011 and 2012. The higher numbers are still a huge victory over homicide rates in the 1990s, which were nearer to 80 each year.

Related article: Shreveport yearly crime rate drops in 2013

Across the river, Bossier City police responded to 6 homicides, compared to 3 in 2012 and 9 in 2011.

"From a law enforcement standpoint, it's a difficult crime to prevent," said Mark Natale, Bossier City Police spokesperson. "They usually happen in the heat of the moment [with] emotions involved. They often happen in private places."

Still police say they do their best to prevent violent crime by addressing the warning signs.

"We believe, however, that by focusing on some of those crimes that we know have the potential to lead to violence like domestic trouble calls, like narcotics violations, like weapons violations, we believe we can have a positive impact," said Bill Goodin, SPD's Chief Administrative Assistant.

Shreveport Police made arrests in most of their open homicide cases but not all. Bossier City authorities say their 2013 solvability rate is at 100%, much higher than the 62.5% national average.

"Obviously, it doesn't bring the loved one back, but knowing the individuals responsible was caught, and is being brought to justice, I think [that] provides a lot of relief and satisfaction to the family of the victim," Natale said.

Outside the city, Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office investigated only one homicide investigation last year: the officer involved shooting that claimed the life of Joseph Hannigan, 28. In 2012, Caddo deputies worked four deaths and one in 2011.

Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office spokesperson Bill Davis says Annie Bond was the single homicide victim for the department's investigators last year. 2012 didn't bring deputies a single murder case. In 2011, BPSO investigated the death of five-year-old Celeste Lowe.

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