By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Crime in the city of Los Angeles dipped slightly in the first half of the year, but the number of homicides soared to the highest level in more than a decade, according to a report released Friday.

Data compiled by Crosstown, a nonprofit news organization based at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, show 179 people were killed in the city between Jan. 1 and June 30 — a 31.6% jump from the same period last year and a 38.8% increase from 2019.

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Last year, Crosstown reported that there were 343 homicides, an increase of 34% from 2019, and a number the city is on track to surpass this year.

According to the report, January was the deadliest month so far this year with 39 homicides followed by June with 38, though the organization noted that homicides in the city began to spike shortly after the COVID pandemic began last year.

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Of the homicides reported, 73.2% involved a firearm, according to the report, and the victims were overwhelmingly men. Downtown Los Angeles had the highest number of reported homicides with 13, followed by Watts with 11 and Hyde Park with eight. Nineteen of the victims were under the age of 18.

And while homicides and aggravated assaults have risen in the first six months of this year as compared to the same time period last year, overall crime is down 4%, according to the data.

Data collected by Crosstown only reflects crimes that were reported to the Los Angeles Police Department.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)