Is Huntsville a safe city?

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – There are just three months left in 2018 and Huntsville Police responded to 26 criminal homicides already this year.

This past weekend five people were murdered. One of those murder investigations happened on Lauderdale Road. Police arrested and charged Marjorie Cappello for killing her husband.  She has since posted bond and been released from jail.

Another man was arrested and charged for the shooting death of his girlfriend off of Whitestone Drive.

Police also arrested a 20-year-old and his teenage girlfriend for the murder of  Tiffany Kelley. She was stabbed to death on Green Cove Road.

Three people are facing charges in connection to the death of two people killed off of Triana Boulevard at the Merrimac Manor Mobile Home Community.

The Huntsville Police Department has been able to arrest a suspect in each case.  Since the recent homicides, many WHNT News 19 viewers have asked us, "Is Huntsville still safe?"

Huntsville Police said it's still a safe city and a great one to raise children. They said all but one of the homicides this past weekend were crimes of passion and not random.

"Crimes of passion mean they are drug related or they had some sort of relationship to the offender," Sgt. Tony McElyea explained.

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The highest number of homicides the Huntsville Police Department has had in a given year was 28.

Two weekends ago, police say an Oakwood University student was mistaken for someone else and killed.

In June, 3 people were murdered on Knollbrook Drive, a mother, her daughter, and friend.

Two-year-old "Sweet Livia" and 19-year-old Shamar Walker were both shot and killed in March at different locations. Both victims were innocent bystanders.

With so many murders back-to-back, it has caused people in the Rocket City to be concerned.

"It's hard to predict some of these things and it's hard to prevent sometimes when people want to commit this type of crime," Sgt. Jack Pugh said.

Sgt. Jack Pugh said the department has good officers and investigators. They follow-up on the unsolved cases, new leads and try to make an arrest.

"I think these young people they think about the moment and not the consequences down the road," Sgt. Pugh said.

Out of all the homicides mentioned police were able to make an arrest in connection with all of them.

WHNT News 19 asked Mayor Tommy Battle "Is Huntsville Safe?" and he responded:

“Huntsville is one of the safest cities in the country and we are proud of our public safety record. Still, we operate on the premise that one murder is one too many, and when homicides occur, we look at cause and context. In Huntsville, the majority of homicides are related to drug crimes, mental health, or domestic abuse. It’s one of the reasons our police, public safety partners, mental health organizations, and area non-profits just spent two days in a law enforcement and community Crisis Intervention Training program. It’s the reason Huntsville police have created a mental health unit, with six trained officers to respond to crisis situations involving the mentally ill. We’ve been proactive in taking preventive steps to keep our community safe and to maintain our quality of life. When it comes to enforcement, our police department has one of the highest arrest and closure rates on homicide. That means if you commit murder in Huntsville, you will be prosecuted, tried in court and put in prison. No city will ever be immune from crime, but in Huntsville, we won’t stand by and let violent crime just happen.”

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