LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The City of Lexington has now tied its record set just last year of 37 homicides. The director of ONE Lexington, Devine Carama, says the violence is heartbreaking.
"Heartbreaking, like I keep thinking about, all the families that are impacted, because I respond to these homicides, I’m on the scene often times or I’m working with the families after that... and just seeing the mental health and the toll that it's taking, the grieving process it's just really sad, but it continues to inform our work and we're gonna keep moving forward,” says Carama.
The Lexington Police Department's Robbery/Homicide unit has recorded the last ten homicides, dating from July 27 to September 25.
The most recent homicide took place in the 1800 block of Oxford Circle, off Versailles Road. An arrest has been made and police charged the suspect with murder.
Of the homicide investigations this year, all but a handful were not the result of gun violence.
"When we think of gun violence, we often think of a younger demographic. but we've actually seen youth gun violence decrease, but now we're seeing domestic violence pop up and spike. we're seeing gun violence in affluent neighborhoods, on UK's campus, the Legends stadium. So, I think that is a clear sign to the community, this isn't a one neighborhood issue. It's gonna take all of us to fix this. It's not just the mayor, it's not the police chief, it's not just ONE Lexington — but how can we all come together? And I think there's a lot of ways," says Carama.
Carama mentions that some of those ways include prevention initiatives, mentorship, and supporting survivors of gun violence.
"So when we look at this issue like that, like this is a public health crisis, this is a community issue, the same way we did the pandemic — that is when you're gonna see us push through this and really be able to see some gains all over," he says.
Devine Carama says it's not just city leaders’ responsibility to help heal the community — but something everyone needs to participate in. He says it's important for the entire community to remember the residual impacts of this violence including mental health issues and trauma.