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Homicides rise in Lawton, Midwest City in 2012

Lawton and Midwest City experienced an unusual spike in homicides in 2012.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: January 13, 2013
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/articleid/3745441/1/pictures/1926468">Photo - SHOOTING DEATH / MURDER / HOMICIDE: Orlando Smith. Two years after a teenager was gunned down outside a nightclub, two men accused in that shooting have been killed themselves. A jury found Orlando Joshawn Smith not guilty of murder in June. Now Smith, 21, is dead, gunned down at a northwest Oklahoma City apartment complex. He was shot about 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Whitby Court apartments, 7504 Knight Lake Drive, and died at a hospital, police report.  ORG XMIT: 1210152223096104
SHOOTING DEATH / MURDER / HOMICIDE: Orlando Smith. Two years after a teenager was gunned down outside a nightclub, two men accused in that shooting have been killed themselves. A jury found Orlando Joshawn Smith not guilty of murder in June. Now Smith, 21, is dead, gunned down at a northwest Oklahoma City apartment complex. He was shot about 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Whitby Court apartments, 7504 Knight Lake Drive, and died at a hospital, police report. ORG XMIT: 1210152223096104

“We had six homicides in October alone,” Akard said. “I think that's the most that we've had in one month ever. Yeah, people are concerned, but what we've seen is it's not just innocent people getting killed.”

With the exception of Tulsa, where city police investigated 46 homicides in 2012, such incidents remain within single digits in the rest of the state's 10 most populous cities.

Tom Easley, spokesman for Norman police, said violent crime in Oklahoma City does not necessarily correlate to violent crime in its suburb cities and towns.

In 2012, Norman police investigated only one homicide.

“Obviously, we have of course a smaller population, but we also have a little different, eclectic mix than Oklahoma City does,” Easley said. “And also I would point to more community involvement from the police side of the equation. I can't say we're more involved than Oklahoma City is, but we work at it as do members of the community to keep the lines of communication open.”

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Oklahoma's largest cities' homicides

Population*; 2012 homicides; and homicide rates (per thousand people) in Oklahoma's 10 most populous cities:

Oklahoma City — 591,912; 99; .17

Tulsa — 396,039; 46; .12

Norman — 113,274; 1; .01

Broken Arrow — 103,118; 1; .01

Lawton — 98,180; 16; .16

Edmond — 82,961; 3; .04

Moore — 55,207; 1; .02

Midwest City — 54,711; 8; .15

Enid — 49,279; 2; .04

Stillwater — 45,723; 1; .02

*Based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates for July, 2011, the latest data available

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