UPDATE: Bloody First Half of 2013 in Huntsville with 15 Homicides

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Investigators have been kept busy so far in 2013 working a total of 15 homicides inside city limits, according to data obtained by WHNT News 19.

The homicide statistics so far match the total number of murders in Huntsville in 2012.  A trend that investigators say is troubling.

"There is just no way of predicting if there will be a homicide or ten of them, we could go another six months without one but we just never know," homicide investigator Jerry King said.

Twelve of the homicide cases have been closed, but three remain active investigations.

Huntsville Police are investigating an early morning fatal shooting involving at least two teenagers, one of whom died.

Police have confirmed that 16-year-old Robert Dante Hewlett of Huntsville was the teenager who was killed.

The Madison County Coroner says Alonzo McGhee, 44, died of multiple gunshot wounds in the 7000 block of Pale Dawn Place. His shooting death on January 4 marked the first homicide in Huntsville this year.  It remains unsolved.

In May, two brother volunteering inside the West Huntsville United Methodist Church were stabbed to death.   Anthony Jackson was 76 and Terry Jackson was 69.  Both lived in Huntsville.

According to crime stats from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, other metro areas in Alabama have significantly higher homicide rates reported for the last several years.

In 2012, Huntsville police investigated 14 murders.

Investigators say the homicide numbers are “average” for the city that sees far fewer murders than other similar sized cities in the region.  In 2011, there were a total of 13 murders.

In 2012, investigators did make quick work of several homicide cases. Police closed the case of the murder of 17-year-old Damon Groce, who was shot in the head and killed during an apparent drive-by on Eastbrook Drive on September 15. Police arrested Rodney Jones Jr. and Jessica Martin for the murder.

If you have any information that might help in any of the homicide investigations, please call (256) 722-7100.

*Updated to show the additional homicide after the original report aired Friday.

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