Some troubling numbers about deadly crimes in Knoxville. Police say we've seen 15 homicides in 2017 and five in the month of May.

While the numbers are growing, KPD Deputy Chief Kenny Miller says it's too soon to call these acts of violence a spike.

"Stats ebb and flow you see numbers smooth as we go throughout the year. So it's hard to say until we get a year snapshot,” said Miller.

KPD says all these deaths are different, but one factor ties many of them together.

"There’s unique factors to every murder or homicide we work, but the big driving factor is drugs. It’s a big factor in violence in every community,” explained Miller.

Miller says every case matters and they're doing their best to close these cases and put an end to violence.

“We're concerned with one, we're concerned with 7 or 8. We're going to continue working these cases aggressively and putting a lot of resources into them,” said Miller.

According to KPD 24 to 25 is the average number of homicides they respond to in a year.
Of 2016's 19 homicides six of those cases are still open.