ANNPOLIS, Md. —Annapolis is now grappling with a dubious distinction: 2016 has marked the most homicides in the city's history.
There have been nine homicides in one year. It's the most homicides recorded in Annapolis since the city started keeping records.
The soaring murder stats have some residents calling for action, and that includes Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides.
"I'm pissed off about this. I'm upset that murders are up, even though crime is down overall. We have to do a better job going forward," Pantelides said.
According to police Chief Michael Pristoop, the homicide spike is being driven by a complicated combination of factors, including heroin.
Annapolis has seen eight fatal overdoses so far this year compared to none the year before. There were also 45 nonfatal overdoses -- a 250 percent jump year-to-year.
In an open letter on Facebook, Pristoop also blamed the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis.
"Unfortunately, much of our violent crime is centered in and around HACA properties. (They've) become offender magnets due to HACA's refusal to enforce banning and other internal rules that affect security. (The) banning policy is not only unenforced, it is feckless."