Columbus, Ohio marked a grim milestone Labor Day morning as police recorded finding the body of the city’s 100th homicide victim, 22-year-old Keaira N. Ayers, in an alley near the 1600 block of E. Hudson St.
Ayers had been stabbed repeatedly, and her death is still being investigated.
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Columbus saw 103 homicides in 2018 and 104 in 2019. The worst year on record was 2017 with 143 deaths, and the city is currently on pace for 147 murders in 2020.
“I know there’s a temptation to track the homicides by the number, comparing the number to last year’s or to other peer cities around the country,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther at a press conference Tuesday. “That’s a huge disservice to the families and to the neighborhoods who have lost loved ones—sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, even grandmothers—to violence.”
“The violence we’re facing this summer is different than violence we’ve faced in the past,” Ginther added. “Our average age of a homicide victim this year is 24. Last year it was 37.”
Those with information are being asked to call Central Ohio’s Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS (8477).
NOTE: Story updated with remarks from Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.