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Milwaukee police blame gang fights for jump in 2013 homicides

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Milwaukee Police say gang fights are partially to blame for a 16 percent increase in murders during the year that just ended.  

The state's largest city had 106 homicides in 2013, the most in eight years. The numbers of murders spiked in August and September, when 35 slayings took place -- about a third of the total for the year.

Assistant Police Chief Kurt Leibold tells the Journal Sentinel that the gangs were not necessarily fighting over gang turf. He said most of the gang killings were caused by, "silly neighborhood disputes that erupted into violence."  

Police officials responded by creating a list of gang leaders and targets who knew what was going on -- even if they were not suspects. The FBI assisted in the effort, and Leibold said those people are slowly being taken, "out of the equation."  

Police Chief Ed Flynn said it helped the killings level off for the rest of the year. 

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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