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Differences Between Gang and Nongang Homicides

NCJ Number
Criminology Volume: 23 Issue: 2 Dated: (1985) Pages: 209-222
Date Published
14 pages
This analysis of just over 700 homicides within the jurisdictions of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) between 1978 and mid-1982 found significant differences between homicides designated gang-related and nongang-related.
To maximize the comparability between gang and nongang homicides, all cases included in the analysis had at least one named suspect between the ages of 10 and 30. Incident descriptors were divided into setting characteristics and participant characteristics. In both categories significant differences between gang and nongang homicides were identified. LASD data show gang homicides typically occurring in public settings and likely to involve shooting from a vehicle. Guns were more likely to be involved. Gang homicides were more more likely to involve other offenses and injuries in addition to the homicide. Gang cases had more unknown suspects and a greater probability of involving witness intimidation. LASD data indicate that gang homicides involved significantly more participants without prior contact with the victim. Suspects tended to be younger than in nongang homicides. Victims and suspects were more likely to be Hispanic and almost never white, in contrast to a more proportionate ethnic representation in nongang homicides. LAPD data produced similar findings, but distinctions were not as uniform nor as large as those revealed in LASD data. 5 tables and 24 references

Date Published: January 1, 1985