JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – July has been one of the deadliest months in years for Onslow County.
Since July 1st, investigators have found a baby in a suitcase in an attic, the baby’s mother in a suitcase inside of a vehicle three blocks away from her home, a man dead after a shooting in his Hubert home, and a woman shot by her husband of more than 50 years, who then turned the gun on himself.
That’s four homicides this month alone, more than the total amount of murders in the year 2011, according to the State Bureau of Investigation crime data.
Sheriff Hans Miller said it’s been a busy, but tough cycle.
“We really cannot wave a magic wand and say okay, all violence will go away. That will not happen because human nature is human nature,” said Sheriff Miller.
Jacksonville Police say they’ve seen a decrease in homicides, from having six in 2012 to having none so far this year.
Jacksonville Police Chief Mike Yaniero said, “We’ve targeted high crime areas and what we’ve done is kind of focus officers in those areas based on crime statistics so an officer would be in those areas where we have potential problems and try to resolve some of those issues.”
Data from the SBI isn’t available for Onslow County for this year, but last year the county had 11 homicides on the record, and already have six this year.
Sheriff Miller said they’re taking action to stop crime within the county but said crimes usually happens in cycles.
“Onslow County is not unique when it comes to these temporary upticks. It’s just a matter of chance and these things occur, but we have a good team of good officers,” said Sheriff Miller.
Jacksonville Police are also taking another initiative by hiring a crisis counselor for the city, one of the first in the state due to a grant given by the North Carolina Governors Crime Commission.
“Part of that will be to follow up on domestic violence cases, say that aren’t military, to make sure they’re getting the proper services so that we can kind of intervene before those domestic violence situations become extremely violent,” said Chief Yaniero.
Sheriff Miller also mentioned it is not unusual for crime to come in waves and that this type of uptick cycle usually occurs in summer months.