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Tale of Four Cities: Improving our Understanding of Gun Violence, Draft Final Summary Overview

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2019
12 pages
This is the Draft Final Summary Overview of the findings and methodology of a research project with the goal of increasing understanding of firearm violence by creating a cross-city (four cities) database that would include fatal and nonfatal shootings and also conducting a variety of analyses within and across cities.
Data collection and analysis focused on Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and St. Louis. The five goals of the project were 1) to create a better understanding of nonfatal shootings and how they relate to gun homicides; 2) to improve data systems on gun violence; 3) to increase understanding of the spatial and network dimensions of firearms violence; 4) to disseminate the data and findings; and 5) to expand the study from Detroit, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee to include St. Louis. The central issue in research methodology was the development of methods for obtaining data on nonfatal shootings, since police records management systems do not typically include a focus on nonfatal shootings. The method of data collection on nonfatal shootings developed for this project is described in this report. The database developed is organized by incident as well as by person (victim, offender). The cross-city database facilitates current and future firearm violence research and will be submitted to the NACJD. Spatial analyses will continue to be developed and will be improved by the common census data that have been integrated in the cross-city database. Conference presentations that use data from Detroit and Milwaukee have been used to examine the social network patterns of people involved in homicides and nonfatal shootings. A table of victim characteristics in homicides and nonfatal shooting incidents is provided. A listing of 19 scholarly conference presentations and 5 project publications

Date Published: October 1, 2019