Expanded Homicide Data

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Data collection

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program of the FBI collects supplementary homicide data that provides information regarding the age, sex, and race of the murder victim and offender; the type of weapon used; the relationship of the victim to the offender; and the circumstance surrounding the incident. Data gleaned from these supplemental data are provided in this section.

Justifiable homicide — Certain willful killings must be reported as justifiable or excusable. In the UCR Program, justifiable homicide is defined as and limited to:

  • The killing of a felon by a peace officer in the line of duty.
  • The killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen.

Because these killings are determined through law enforcement investigation to be justifiable, they are tabulated separately from murder and nonnegligent manslaughter. Justifiable homicide information is included in this section and in Expanded Homicide Data Table 14, "Justifiable Homicide, by Weapon, Law Enforcement, 2005–2009" and Expanded Homicide Data Table 15, "Justifiable Homicide, by Weapon, Private Citizen, 2005–2009."

Overview

  • Of the 13,636 murder victims in 2009 for which supplemental data were received, most (77.0 percent) were male. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 1.)
  • Concerning murder victims for whom race was known, 48.7 percent were white, 48.6 percent were black, and 2.7 percent were of other races. Race was unknown for 152 victims. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 2.)
  • Single victim/single offender situations accounted for 48.6 percent of all murders for which the UCR Program received supplemental data. (See Expanded Homicide Data Table 4.)
  • Of the offenders for whom gender was known, 89.7 percent were males. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 3.)
  • Of the offenders for whom race was known, 51.6 percent were black, 46.3 percent were white, and 2.1 percent were of other races. The race was unknown for 4,339 offenders. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 3.)
  • Of the homicides for which the FBI received weapons data, most (71.8 percent) involved the use of firearms. Handguns comprised 70.5 percent of all firearms used in murders and nonnegligent manslaughters in 2009. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 8.)
  • In 2009, 24.2 percent of victims were slain by family members; 53.8 percent were killed by someone they knew (acquaintance, neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.). The relationship of murder victims and offenders was unknown in 43.9 percent of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter incidents in 2009. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 10.)
  • Of the female murder victims for whom their relationships to the offenders were known, 34.6 percent were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Tables 2 and 10.)
  • Of the murders for which the circumstance surrounding the murder was known, 41.2 percent of victims were murdered during arguments (including romantic triangles) in 2009. Felony circumstances (rape, robbery, burglary, etc.) accounted for 22.9 percent of murders. Circumstances were unknown for 35.4 percent of reported homicides. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 12.)
  • Law enforcement reported 667 justifiable homicides in 2009. Of those, law enforcement officers justifiably killed 406 felons, and private citizens justifiably killed 261 people during the commission of a crime. (See Expanded Homicide Data Tables 14 and 15.)

In this figure, bar graphs and a pie chart visually represent the relationships of murder victims to their offenders.  The statistics are based on the supplementary homicide data that law enforcement agencies submitted to the FBI for 13,636 murder victims who were slain in 2009. Pie chart: Of the homicides that occurred in 2009 for which supplementary homicide data were received, the relationships of the murder victims to their offenders were as follows:  1,855 victims (13.6 percent) were slain by family members; 1,676 (12.3 percent) were murdered by strangers; and 4,119 victims (30.2 percent) were slain by “other known” offenders.  The offenders were not known for 5,986 murder victims (43.9 percent). Bar graphs: The first bar graph provides a breakdown of the 1,855 familial relationships of victims to offenders based on supplementary homicide data from 2009:  141 husbands were killed by their wives, 609 wives were slain by their husbands, 131 mothers were murdered by their children, 116 fathers were killed by their children, 247 sons were slain by their parents, 201 daughters were murdered by their parents, 94 brothers were killed by their siblings, 35 sisters were slain by their siblings, and 281 victims were murdered by other family members (i.e., familial relationships other than those mentioned above).

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What you won't find on this page

Expanded homicide data tables