CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - At least 122 people have lost their lives to murder in Cleveland this year.
Dozens of families have been ripped apart forever.
It’s only October and 19 Investigates found there have been more homicides in our city so far in 2020, than all of last year.
Sharena Zayed’s 15-year-old son Amir Bradley lost his life when a bullet struck him as he walked home from a friend’s house this March in Cleveland.
“The trauma of homicide just hits me every morning. Like a ton of bricks – knowing that my son won’t come home,” Zayed said.
Her son is one of more than 100 people murdered so far this year in the city.
19 Investigates found latest numbers from Cleveland Police show homicides up to the first week of October have already surpassed all of last year-- 122 so far in 2020 and 121 total in 2019.
Cleveland homicides are up 31.5% this year when you compare where we are this October to last October.
From January 2019 to October 5, 92 people were murdered, according to Cleveland police.
This year, 121 people were killed in that same time frame.
“The violence is escalating, it’s escalating to the point that it’s totally out of control,” said
Gregory Terrell, executive director of Stop the Pain.
He’s pleading city hall for action now. He said Stop the Pain’s goal is to bring together community organizations to stop the violence.
“We are in a tailspin where just about every day someone is getting shot. Doesn’t mean they all die from those gunshot wounds. But we’re talking about the homicide rate, nobody has said nothing about the people who have been shot,” Terrell said. Terrell said to get in front of the violence, you have to be proactive.
He wants to see more community policing and more people stepping up from the community to help.
“We don’t have the resources to do what needs to be done. And city hall has not stepped up to give us those resources,” he said.
He has a strong message to the mayor who gave the State of the City address Thursday night.
“There’s blood on the steps of city hall, and I can’t stress that enough. If you think I’m going to back up off of that, I’m not. Because the citizens of Cleveland deserve better,” Terrell said. 19 Investigates spoke to Councilmember Mike Polensek over the phone.
He said there is “denial at city hall” and “council leadership needs to get its head out of the sand.”
Polensek said there are not enough police officers in Cleveland, and if the city doesn’t add more soon, we’ll have a “severe problem” at the end of the year. Cleveland Police did not have a response on the increase in the homicide rate.
“It has to end. We’re tired of balloons, we’re tired of candle light vigils. We’re tired of seeing our kids murdered in cold blood,” Terrell said.
Will the mayor address increase in homicides during State of the City?
19 Investigates will be watching to see whether Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson addresses this violence in his speech Thursday night.
The mayor’s office said it did not have his remarks ahead of time.
A spokesperson pointed us to a press release they sent out in August, which said Cleveland Police are working with several local, state and federal partners to combat violent crime.
It said over a few weeks in August, they took about 100 guns off the streets.
They also sent us a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Operation Legend.
It’s a national initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Justice to fight violent crime.
Cleveland residents can call Crimestoppers anonymously to report crime by calling 216-25-CRIME.