July murder count is highest monthly total this year

The 39 homicides are driven by gun violence; deaths decrease from same month in 2021

Illustration of a body outline spread across the map of L.A.


There were 39 people murdered in the city of Los Angeles last month. It is the highest monthly total this year, and the most killings in any month since the 39 last September.


Yet grim as that figure is, it marks a significant decline from the 48 homicides in July 2021. That was the highest monthly total since the Los Angeles Police Department began making its data publicly accessible in 2010.


Line chart of homicides by month in Los Angeles


The high pace of killings continues a trend. In the first half of 2022, there were 181 homicides in the city, slightly above the 178 in the equivalent timeframe last year; 2021 would end with 397 murders, making it the deadliest year in Los Angeles since 2007.


Fourteen of the killings this year occurred during the week of July 3–9. There were another 13 homicides during the week of July 24–30. 


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From Jan. 1–Aug. 6, 2022, there were 234 homicides in the city, one less than during the same period last year, according to LAPD Compstat data. This year’s death toll is a 23.8% increase over the 189 people killed at this point in 2020.


Los Angeles is far from the only place to experience a wave of gun violence. This New York Times on Thursday reported that in Philadelphia this year, there have already been over 320 homicides, and more than 1,400 people in the city have been shot.


Park shootings

In the first six months of 2022, more than three-quarters of the local murders involved a gun. That unsettling trend continued in July, when firearms were responsible for 30 deaths.


Pie chart of weapons use din July homicides


That included two people who were shot to death when a confrontation erupted during a softball game at Peck Park in San Pedro on the afternoon of July 24. During a meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission two days later, Police Chief Michel Moore said the game involved people associated with Compton street gangs, and that it was organized by gang intervention workers. At the same time, a car show was taking place in the park, and there were also numerous gatherings of friends and family. 


“What we believe occurred,” Moore told the commission, “is that a dispute arose from those that were playing the softball game, or associated with those groups, and that dispute escalated to the point that handguns were produced and shots were fired.”


Moore said eight people were struck by gunfire. News reports identified those killed as Tashman Williams, 31, of Compton, and Carlyle Phillips, 29, of Cypress. Moore told the Police Commission that four guns were recovered in the hours after the incident. No suspects have been publicly identified.


According to LAPD data, five neighborhoods in the city each experienced three killings during July: Boyle Heights, Downtown, Green Meadows, San Pedro and Westlake.


Men continue to overwhelmingly be murder victims. Thirty-three of those killed during the month were identified as male, with six female deaths. 


Bar chart of homicides by gender in July


The youngest victim was a 16-year-old Black male who was stabbed to death in Green Meadows on July 3. A juvenile was arrested. The oldest victim was a 65-year-old white man who was shot in a Palms apartment building on July 25.


As of early this month, six people had been arrested for killings during July. The investigation was ongoing in 33 of the deaths.


How we did it: We examined publicly available crime data from the Los Angeles Police Department from Jan. 1, 2020–July 31, 2022. We also looked at LAPD Compstat data. Learn more about our data here.


LAPD data only reflects crimes that are reported to the department, not how many crimes actually occurred. In making our calculations, we rely on the data the LAPD makes publicly available. LAPD may update past crime reports with new information, or recategorize past reports. Those revised reports do not always automatically become part of the public database.


Have questions about our data or want to know more? Write to us at askus@xtown.la.