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For the first time in four years, fewer than 100 homicide victims in Fort Worth in 2023

In World
February 08, 2024

Eighty-eight people were shot to death or otherwise killed by another person in Fort Worth in 2023, a total that means that 12 fewer people were slain in the city than in the year before. The figure was under 100 homicide victims for the first time in four years.

A kitchen, river embankment, motel room, sidewalk, apartment breezeway, motel pool deck, courtyard and hookah bar-game room were among the locations where people were subjected to homicidal violence.

The Fort Worth Police Department categorized the circumstances of the killings. Thirty-one occurred during arguments or fights, seven during robberies, six were domestic matters, five were the result of recklessness or negligence, three were gang-related, one involved road rage and one narcotics, according to police department data. One was categorized as a random killing. The motive was classified as unknown in 26 cases and not specified in seven.

There were 100 homicide victims in Fort Worth in 2022, 118 victims in 2021 and 115 in 2020. Until 2020, there had not been a triple-digit homicide toll in a year in Fort Worth since 1995, when there were 108 victims.

Seventy-eight of the victims were male; 10 were female, according to Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office data. Sixty-one percent of the victims were Black, 26% were Hispanic, 11% were white and 1% were Native American.

Ninety-two percent of the victims in 2023 were shot, according to Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office data. The causes of the other deaths were stab wounds (5%), blunt force injury (2%) and strangulation (1%).


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Medial examiner’s office data was filed for 88 homicides in Fort Worth in 2023. The data does not include the identical set of homicides reported by the police department to the FBI’s National Incident Based Reporting System that uses classification criteria that is different than the medical examiner’s office protocol.

The killings included multiple-victim homicides during two mass shootings in which other people were shot and survived. There were six double homicides. The only triple homicide occurred on July 3 during a gang quarrel in a parking lot at an afterparty following a neighborhood celebration in Como. Eight other people were shot and survived.

The youngest homicide victim was 4 months old. The infant died in February of blunt force injuries.

The eldest was 77 years old. Ora Faye Griffin was inside her apartment in July when she was shot by a person firing a gun outside it, police have said.

Ora Faye Griffin, 77, was shot and killed in her Fort Worth apartment on July 28, 2023. Family photo/Facebook

Ora Faye Griffin, 77, was shot and killed in her Fort Worth apartment on July 28, 2023. Family photo/Facebook

There were 12 homicides, the most in a month, in January and in July. In February and in March there were three homicides, the fewest in a month.

In January 2023, a 17-year-old Paschal High School student was shot to death on a sidewalk outside a fast food restaurant after his cousin publicly criticized a group of teenagers the homicide victim’s relative believed were involved in an overdose death.

Erica Trevino stands beside her son’s casket during his funeral in Waurika, Oklahoma, on Jan. 28, 2023. Zechariah Trevino, a Paschal High School student killed by gun violence on Jan. 20 in Fort Worth, was remembered as a loving, funny person throughout the service. Madeleine Cook/mcook@star-telegram.com

Erica Trevino stands beside her son’s casket during his funeral in Waurika, Oklahoma, on Jan. 28, 2023. Zechariah Trevino, a Paschal High School student killed by gun violence on Jan. 20 in Fort Worth, was remembered as a loving, funny person throughout the service. Madeleine Cook/[email protected]

A woman who worked as a prostitute was in March shot to death by a man who picked her up in a vehicle, police have said. Four days later, he drove her body from his home and dumped it onto the bank of the Trinity River, police have alleged. The woman was naked and lying in a bed of rocks.

In September, a 21-year-old TCU junior was shot dead outside a bar in the West 7th entertainment district.

A photo of TCU student Wes Smith sits on the edge of Frog Fountain on the campus of TCU before a vigil for Smith on Sept. 6, 2023, in Fort Worth. Smith was shot and killed in an apparently random act of violence in the West 7th area. Amanda McCoy/amccoy@star-telegram.com

A photo of TCU student Wes Smith sits on the edge of Frog Fountain on the campus of TCU before a vigil for Smith on Sept. 6, 2023, in Fort Worth. Smith was shot and killed in an apparently random act of violence in the West 7th area. Amanda McCoy/[email protected]

Also that month, two men who were working to demolish a trailer in a yard were allegedly shot to death by a neighbor who was angered by them but otherwise unprovoked.

After a disagreement, a woman on Christmas Eve set a fire in an apartment that trapped and killed two people, authorities have alleged. The suspect and victims were among five acquaintances who were squatting in the apartment.

Dwight Durham died three days after being injured on Christmas Eve in an apartment fire police say was intentionally set in Fort Worth. Provided by family

Dwight Durham died three days after being injured on Christmas Eve in an apartment fire police say was intentionally set in Fort Worth. Provided by family

The 2023 total includes a case in which the victim was injured in September 2022, and the police department classified the death as a homicide in June 2023.

In a calculation of the homicide clearance rate using cases that were cleared by arrest, the rate is 49%. This calculation does not account for cases cleared by exception, a circumstance that applies, for example, when a suspect is deceased.

A Fort Worth Police Department spokesperson did not respond to a Star-Telegram request for its homicide clearance rate calculation or a request for Chief Neil Noakes’ assessment of the 2023 homicide total.

There were 15 homicides in Arlington in 2023 and 16 in 2022.

A Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson did not respond to a reporter’s inquiry on the agency’s 2023 homicide total.

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