Murder rates fall in Yakima

YAKIMA, Wash -- "I think the best numbers for us as a police department and as a city is to have zero," said YPD Captain Rod Light.
He is referring to the number of murders right here in Yakima.

From January to May In 2010, the county saw 14 murders.That number jumped to 26 by the end of the year. In 2011, it went from 13 to 22. We've seen a drop to nine murders in the first five months of this year.

The city of Yakima saw a similar trend. In 2010, there were a total of fourteen. That fell to six the following year. So far in 2012, YPD has handled two murder cases.

Although statistics show murders are down in Yakima, people in this neighborhood are still terrified. After all, there were two murders that happened right here in this area within a few months of each other.

"I still wouldn't want it to be one. It makes us feel a little better, not a lot," said neighbor Nelie Garcia.

Justin Smith said, "We only feel safe in our own homes. Even right here on a daily basis, I don't feel safe...I have to constantly watch my back because you never know whose going to come up behind you. There's shootings everyday over here. There's shootings everyday on this side."

Captain Light agrees. He says there have been 15 gun incidents in the last two weeks alone. The fact more of these weren't murders could be a matter of luck.

"Any of these 15 could have eventually ended in a homicide. Fortunately, they didn't up to this point in time. Where the numbers are going to go or what they are going to be at the end of the year, it's unpredictable."