TULSA, Okla. - As 2017 comes to a close, Tulsa police are working to solve seven unsolved homicide cases.
The city saw 81 homicides in 2017 as of Dec. 29. In 2016, police investigated a record-setting 82 homicides in Tulsa.
Homicide detectives said most of the killings this year were related to domestic violence or caused by some sort of dispute. They are concerned that Tulsa has seen more 80 homicides two years in a row.
"I think we need to be concerned because we don't want that to be the new norm," said Tulsa police Sgt. Dave Walker.
However, two shooting victims from previous years (2014 and 2015) died in 2017. If the medical examiner rules both of them as homicides, Tulsa's 2017 total would set another new record at 83.
Walker told FOX23 that 22 homicides this year were caused by a dispute or altercation, 12 were domestic violence, 11 happened during robberies and another 11 are unknown.
There were also six officer-involved shooting deaths and three that were gang-related.
Walker said that two of the most difficult outstanding cases involved the death of Amy Robertson, found in a dumpster in April, and Santiago Castillo, found dead in an abandoned north Tulsa home.
Police plan to continue programs like Operation Blue Thunder in 2018. That involved 20-30 officers hitting the streets to cut down on violence.
"It really did probably reduce the number of homicides," Walker said.
The department is also following several leads on the second remaining unsolved homicides.
"What we're going to do is continue to solve as many of them as we can to make it very unappealing to kill somebody in Tulsa, Oklahoma," Walker said.
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