MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As Memphis sees a record-breaking year of violence, the police department says they have solved more than half of the city’s homicides.

So far this year, MPD reported a record-breaking 339 homicides. While the case load is heavy, MPD tells WREG that 201 cases have been solved, meaning either the killing was ruled justified or an arrest was made. This makes the city’s homicide clearance rate 65%.

Lt. Tony Mullins said over 90% of homicides are a result of gun violence, and in a lot of cases, the victim and suspect knew each other.

“Well above half of your homicides the parties know each other and they run into each other and something happens,” Lt. Mullins said. “And because they don’t have the conflict resolution skills.” 

Antonio Pierce knows what it is like to lose someone to gun violence. He’s lost two family members. He said his brother, DeAngelo Key, and cousin were killed on Halloween in a double homicide in South Memphis, and the family still does not have answers.

“Memphis’ biggest thing right now is homicides,” Pierce said. “To hear my mama call me on Christmas crying, talking about she doesn’t know what Christmas feels like anymore, it hurt my feelings.”

When asked about the department being criticized about not doing enough to solve homicides, Lt. Mullins said it takes time.

“It’s not something we take lightly,” he said. “With that in mind, we’re not just going to throw somebody in jail. We’re going to solve the case, and that does take time some time.”

Lt. Mullins urges anyone with information on a crime to call (901)-528-CASH.