Gary grapples with spike in murder rate

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GARY, Ind. -- Gary police are searching for suspects in two separate murders that happened just hours apart from each other.

Police say they are developing leads in both of those murders.

Meanwhile, police are also trying to build up a relationship with the community to try and get a handle on a murder rate that’s nearly doubled from last year.  Shootings are up 87 percent from last year around this time and the murder rate has jumped as well.  In 2014, 20 people were killed in Gary.  This year that number is 38.

So far Gary police have been able to bring charges or make an arrest in a little more than 25 percent of the cases.  The latest came yesterday when police say 22-years-old Shelton Curtis and 22-year-old Kevin Blackmon were charged in connection with a double homicide from last week.

While murders and shootings have been up other violent crime in Gary has gone down, including rape robbery arson and stabbings.

Authorities say they are working every angle to try and turn the murder rate around including working with Lake County sheriff’s offices.