NEW YORK - At least 321 people have been murdered in New York City so far this year, surpassing the 319 murders recorded in the five boroughs in all of 2019, NYPD records show.
By comparison, there were 230 murders from Jan. 1 to Sept. 14 of last year.
The additional 91 murders this year represents an increase of nearly 40 percent.
If that rate of increase continues for the rest of the year, the city would see the largest year-over-year jump in murders since at least 1990, when the number peaked at more than 2,200.
Still, the city remains much safer than it was back then, or even in the early 2000s. In 2001, 649 murders were reported, excluding the deaths in the attack on the World Trade Center.
The fewest number of murders in the modern era, 289, occurred just two years ago, in 2018.
City officials and community groups have blamed a perfect storm of events this year for causing an increase in murders and shootings - including criminal justice reforms, protests over police brutality, a surge in gang violence and job losses caused by the coronavirus.
NYPD critics have accused officers of pulling back from enforcement because of dissatisfaction with police reforms which they believe led to more violence.
Police officials deny any slowdown.
As of Monday there were 1348 shooting victims, a 103 percent increase from last year during the same time period.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated an aditional 101 murders this year represents an increase of nearly 40 percent. The total is actually 91 murders. (September 15, 2020)