Savannah leaders say no one has been murdered so far in 2023; gun crimes still an issue

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 6:04 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2023 at 6:09 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah leaders say no one has been murdered in the city this year. A positive point they want to draw attention to.

Gun crimes, however, still remain a problem as 14 people have been shot in 2023.

While there have been several gun-related crimes in Savannah so far this year, Mayor Van Johnson says the last homicide happened in late December. He says many moving parts play a role in the lack of lives taken.

“This has not happened in our recorded history in the last 20 years, so we’re grateful,” Mayor Johnson said.

Mayor Johnson says the number of homicides in the past two months can change. If any of the 14 people who have been shot this year die from their injuries, then the number of killings will no longer than be zero. Still, he says he’s proud of how hard the community has worked together to get to where we are today.

“There have been many dedicated folks, not only with the Savannah Police Department, but with our ONSE (Office of Neighborhood and Safety Engagement), increasing community engagement, our faith leaders and neighbors; people just working together,” Mayor Johnson said.

There have been 49 gun-related crimes this year as of last Friday, according to the Savannah Police Department. That number puts the city at four shootings less than this time last year.

That number does not include the shooting on Pennsylvania Avenue this week where a teen was shot in the leg. Mayor Johnson says he knows work still needs to be done but he recognizes the achievement.

“People can recover and continue to live their lives. We have not buried anybody. Again, it still requires some significant action from our state, for us to make sure that we are dealing with issues of gun availability and take significant work from our prosecutorial community to make sure we are sending a very clear message that gun violence and trigger pulling is not acceptable in our community,” Mayor Johnson said.

A community trying to tackle gun violence for many lives’ sake.