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Homicide rates increased by 72% in Knox Co. in 2020

The Knox County Regional Forensic Center provides autopsy and consultative services for 23 counties in Middle and East Tennessee.
Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 10:23 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Deaths across Knox and Anderson counties increased more than 11 percent in 2020 from 2019, while homicides rose nearly 71 percent in both counties combined, according to the 2020 Annual Report.

The annual report was released by the Knox County Regional Forensic Center which provides autopsy and consultative services for 23 counties in Middle and East Tennessee.

According to the report, accidental and natural deaths each increased 20 percent in 2020. Officials said suicides increased by 14 percent and gun-related deaths increased 62 percent.

In 2020, Knox County saw 40 gun-related homicides. That number is the most of any other area in the center’s jurisdiction. There were 50 homicides in total reported in Knox County in 2020. The remaining 10 were by blunt force (2), sharp instrument (6) and neglect (2).

A Knoxville Police Department report obtained by WVLT News revealed there have been 21 homicides so far in 2021. All of the killings have been the result of gun violence.

Compared to this time last year, there were 13 homicides by May 21, 2020. Knoxville has already passed that number with eight more fatal shootings totaling 21 homicides including the officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of Austin-East Magnet High School student Anthony Thompson Jr.

Motor vehicle accidents accounted for nearly 100 deaths in Knox County and 183 in total across the region.

Click here to read the full 2020 Annual Report released by the Knox County Regional Forensic Center.

Anyone with information on a crime is asked to contact East Tennessee Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.easttnvalleycrimestoppers.org.

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