Several readers have suggested that the murder rate in El Paso “seems” much higher this year than in previous years. Another reader suggested that I revisit the “safest city in the nation” lie once again. As a result, I decided to do some research. The city had previously reported five murders in 2010, twenty-three were reported in 2012 and eleven were reported in 2013. Part of the problem in trying to track down the murder rate is that murder is classified under two major terms, “murder” and “manslaughter” which, I believe is a result of legal technicalities but both result in the death of a victim. For example, the official murder rate for El Paso in 2010 was reported at 5, however there was also one manslaughter bringing the total to six deaths at the hands of another.
To give you more detail, here are the murder/manslaughter deaths from 2001 through 2010.
It is important to note that the list above is based on information that I did not exhaustively research and therefore I cannot state that it is 100 percent accurate. I compiled it from various sources and, as I indicated above, there is confusion on how deaths are classified. There is also the issue of jurisdiction in that the El Paso Police Department has acknowledged in court cases, that a death that has occurred in the County or in Cd. Juárez, it is not included even though the victim may have been kidnapped or injured in the city but discovered elsewhere.
On August 5, 2015, the El Paso police department reported ten murders so far in 2015.
I compiled the following list of serious crimes from the El Paso Police Department’s Twitter feed and news reports for 2015
August 7, 2015: Shooting at 2000 Pueblo Nuevo was reported.
August 6, 2015: Officer involved shooting at 3900 Dyer was reported.
August 5, 2015: A shooting death of a male (26) was reported at the corner of Cassidy Road and Gateway Boulevard South. Cortez Devonte Thomas (25) was arrested on a murder charge for a murder at 4000 Van Buren.
August 5, 2015: Gerardo Haro (29) was arrested for stabbing man (40) at the 5600 block of Sun Valley and for assaulting girlfriend at the 1000 block of Wyoming.
July 3, 2015: Steven Quinteros-Rios (25) was arrested for shooting his wife (29) at 11588 St. Thomas.
July 19, 2015: Jessica Deo (19) arrested for stabbing Adrian Herrera (19) at 1605 Via Appia.
July 17, 2015: Alejandro Antillon (32) was arrested for stabbing his cousin (33 male) at 10513 Candlewood.
June 28, 2015: One man (27) shot at 2300 Tierra Rica by unknown assailant.
June 10, 2015: Pricilla Perales (20) was arrested and charged for the murder of her sister (21) at the 3900 block of Leavell.
June 7, 2015: Woman (38) died from injuries from a blow to the head at the 6700 block of Gateway. Eddie Estep (45) was charged with murder.
May 31, 2015: Rudy Hurtado (30) was charged with murder in the death of a 33-year old male at 8735 Dyer.
May 21, 2015: Officer involved shooting at 5100 block of Fairbanks results in death of David Alejandro Gandara (22).
May 17, 2015: Jerry Lawrence (25) and Harold Boga (22) were arrested for Discharging a Firearm within the city limits at 117 S. Anthony (Union Plaza).
May 9, 2015: Four males (three 17 and one 19) were injured as a result of a fight at the 9700 block of Blue Wing. Another man (25) was found stabbed on the block of 9960 McCombs.
May 5, 2015: Fourteen year-old female shot and killed by Ramon Nevarez (51), father, at 11600 block of Spencer.
May 3, 2015: Female (26) and male (29) were shot at Tres Mentiras Bar by two individuals with one handgun. Alejandro Sandoval (21) was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon as well as Possession of a Controlled Substance, Cocaine.
April 29, 2015: Burglary suspect, Erick Emmanuel Salas Sanchez (22) shot and killed by responding police officers.
April 16, 2015: Murder-suicide at 2705 Sparkman Street near Dyer Street and Mobile Avenue.
April 12, 2015: Woman (38) shot inside her home on the 11500 block of Jerry Lewis. Greg Dudley (49) was charged with murder.
April 5, 2015: One man (23) stabbed at the 4000 block of Lackland. Sergio Escamilla (23) was charged with aggravated assault.
April 1, 2015: Murder/suicide reported in the 14000 block of Sandy Rock involving husband (58) and wife (47).
March 20, 2015: Police investigating the suspicious disappearance of Jerry Castillo (21).
March 19, 2015: Man charged in a murder for hire case.
March 8, 2015: Man dies of stab wounds sustained at 8900 block of Roberts. Mandy Renee Johnson (31), wife of the deceased, was arrested on murder charge.
March 7, 2015: Two men shot at Casita Linda Restaurant on March 7, 2013 at 3:44 in the afternoon. Joe Herrera (38) was arrested on two counts of aggravated assault.
March 4, 2015: Carl Lamb (26) was charged with Criminal Solicitation (Murder) for attempting to hire someone to kill his wife.
March 1, 2015: Two men were shot outside of Jaguars, 11377 Gateway West, at about 3:21 in the morning. Jeremy Lamont Horn (22), Sierro Larry (25) and Bryan Winston (25) were arrested and charged in the stabbing.
February 22, 2015: Man beaten outside of the Cowboy Touch Bar at 1700 N. Zaragosa.
February 16, 2015: Twenty-one year old female killed at the 8500 block of Viscount. Chico Fierro (24) was arrested and charged with murder.
February 10, 2015: Marcos Morales (19) arrested on suspicion of pointing a rifle at woman in front of 8509 Moye in the Pebble Hills Area.
February 1, 2015: Attempted murder of a 22-year old male at 10600 block of Obsidian. Joshua Mendoza (21) and Jacob Mendoza (19) were arrested.
January 10, 2015: Man shot after drawing gun during a traffic stop in the Northeast
According to the information I have compiled, there have been about 16 murders on average over a 14 year period in El Paso. A little over half way through 2015, there have been 10 murders reported so far. In 2014, 20 murders were reported.
At this point it does not look like the murder rate is significantly higher this year than in the previous years.
However, it is important to note that the statistics do nothing to belay the “safest city in the nation” lie because I have not included an analysis of other serious crimes such as rape and assaults.