LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington police officers have now responded to 20 homicides in 2021, six more than this time last year.
A record 34 homicides were reported in the city in 2020. All of the 2021 killings have been the result of gun violence, according to Lexington Police.
"My kids have to grow up without their dad," said Ieshia Banks. "It hurts."
Her partner of four years, Raymar Webb, was killed in a shooting early Saturday morning.
Officers found Webb with a gunshot wound at the corner of W. Short Street and N. Mill Street. He later died at the hospital, according to police.
Webb was just hours away from finding out the gender of his next child.
"He didn't even get a chance to know that he had a baby girl," she said. "We have three boys and that's all we ever wanted was to have a girl."
The uptick in gun violence has caught the attention of Ricardo Franklin, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.
"Each time you see that it kind of takes a toll," he said, "It's just when do you want it to stop?"
Franklin knows the pain of gun violence spreads far beyond the victim. His brother Antonio was killed in 2014 and he continues to carry on the mission of his mother, Anita Franklin, to see shooting deaths in Lexington fall to zero.
"I want it to be as safe as possible and I want it to be as loving as possible," he said.
While the problem has plenty of recognition, he says it will take the work of everyone to see a change.
As of Monday night, officers had made no arrests in their investigation into Webb's killing.
"Please just speak up," Banks said, addressing anyone who witnessed the shooting.
"My kids deserve that. His family deserves that. I deserve that. We deserve justice," she said.