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Vermont homicide rate highest in 3 decades

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A deadly shooting in Rutland this week marked the 20th Vermont homicide so far this year, the highest number since 1992 when there were 21.



Going back as far as 2013, there were only 10 homicides in Vermont, according to FBI data. That number climbed to 17 in 2017. The lowest number in this period was last 2021, with nine homicides.


“It is rare, and that’s true with murder across the country. Most murders are not planned or deliberate. More likely we’d see calculated murders in inter-partner violence, but for the most part, most murders arise out of an argument,” said Penny Shtull, a professor of criminal justice at Norwich University.


When it comes to inter-partner or domestic violence, that is the case in at least four of this year’s homicides. That includes a murder-suicide in Burlington and in Woodstock, where police say a man was shot and killed in a family dispute over property and money.


Shtull says the year-to-date total is indicative of an uptick but doesn’t necessarily mean that will become a long-term trend. She says Vermont is no different than the rest of the country when it comes to issues like gun violence. According to the data, guns were used in 18 of the 20 homicides this year. There were also two stabbings.


All but four of the murders this year have been solved.

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