Posted on January 3, 2023

New Orleans Likely Leads Nation in Murders in 2022

Missy Wilkinson and Jeff Adelson,, December 31, 2022

In 2022’s final week, as New Orleans barreled toward year’s end poised to reclaim the mantle of America’s most murderous city, a series of killings rocked the city once again, shocking yet predictable in their brutality: A comedian slain among Christmas grocery shoppers, the victim of a targeted killing gone awry. A mass shooting at a Lower 9th Ward house party that wounded six teens, two fatally. A broad-daylight Bourbon Street shooting that sent the victim staggering into a daiquiri shop with multiple gunshot wounds before he died in a hospital.

“It’s been a horrific year, and a horrific close to a horrific year,” said Jeff Asher, a crime analyst who works for the City Council. “The numbers speak for themselves.”

As of 1:30 Saturday afternoon, New Orleans had logged 265 murders — the highest number since before Hurricane Katrina, when the city’s population was about a quarter larger than it is now, according to Asher. That works out to 70 killings for every 100,000 people in the city, the highest rate in a decade and a half, and one of the highest rates ever recorded in New Orleans.

The bloodshed comes after a time of relative peace.


With 148 and 125 murders, respectively, 2018 and 2019 brought historic murder lows to New Orleans after bloody stretches in the 1990s. {snip}


In addition to the year’s murders — the catch-all term the FBI uses for intentional, unjustified killings — this year saw more than two dozen other homicides. Those include cases where charges were not filed because the killing was deemed to be in self-defense, or where the death was the result of negligence. Those included the deaths of 3-year-old Autumn Barthelemy and 2-year-old Michael Brown, both of whom shot themselves with weapons owned by relatives.


Only about one in three of New Orleans murders this year has been solved, according to NOPD statistics.

The overwhelming majority of those killed this year have been Black. Black men between the ages of 15 and 54 make up about three-quarters of the victims in 2022. Only about one in 10 of those killed this year have been White.

Men have traditionally been more likely to be killed than women, though the number of female victims is also on the rise. At least 36 women were killed in the city this year.

New Orleans has also seen an increase in older victims, and those over 30 who were killed account for essentially the entirety of the increase in deaths over last year.

There were also 20 people older than 60, including an 80-year-old and a 91-year-old, killed this year.

But the toll has also included the young. Three children under the age of 5 were murdered, including 6-month-old Tahir Stanley, who was killed by his caregiver. And 36 teenagers were gunned down over the course of the year.

New Orleans averaged two shooting incidents a day for the year, and nearly every slaying in the city this year was due to gunfire. Only 17 people were killed by some other method, such as stabbings or beatings.

Less than one in three murders this year has led to an arrest, with a handful of others considered resolved by the death of a suspect.

All told, at least 887 people have been injured or killed by gunfire in New Orleans this year in at least 711 separate shootings. Of those, 12 qualified as mass shootings — shootings that include at least four casualties, not including the shooter, according to the Gun Violence Archive. {snip}