Metropolitan Police Department pays for a service titled “ShotSpotter” that reports the coordinates of gunshot and fireworks. I reviewed most of the available data from MPD’s website by downloading it and using Excel and Google Earth. All of the data and analysis below does not include data that was classified as ‘Gunshot_ Or_Firecracker’.
Let’s start by answering the question: what hour of the day is most likely to have shots fired? Here are the data totaling the records by hour in 2018:
Of the 4,245 multiple or single gunshot records from 2018, a majority (52%) of the shots were from 10pm to 4am. 21% of the shots were from the daylight hours of 6am-7pm, which is demonstrated by the dip in the chart. My personal take-away is that one should be less afraid of stray bullets during the day.
Here’s another look of the counts of the records by the hour and the day of the week from the last 3 months of 2019. One may observe the consistent crests during the night.
Something that may immediately draw the eye is the outlier of 40 total gunshots on Tuesdays in the 11pm hour. I believe the cause of this anomaly to be the 23 records of shots on Tuesday, December 31st. 10 shots were recorded within the last 5 minutes of the year. Below is a different way to look at it.
I only regret that the ShotSpotter 2020 data hasn’t yet been released for the 1st or second quarter. I’m sure there’s more action in the waking minutes of 2020, the year of the China Virus. Anyways, here’s where people popped celebratory shots at then end of 2019-
Let’s go back until we have all the data for one NYE celebration. Below are the shots from the last 10 minutes of 2018 and the first 10 minutes of 2019. Although 257 shots were registered on those 2 days, 39 were in the 20 minute period surrounding midnight.
I spy, with my little eye, clusters in Ward 8. Let’s take a look at one of them.
Stanton Glen apartments has a uninformative website with a link to a facebook page that hasn’t been updated since 2017. The Google reviews are sad. I’m guessing that the slumlord who owns it has most of the revenues from Federal Section 8 as well as District money keeping things the way they are.
There are some data points where I wonder what happened.
In conclusion, the ShotSpotter data is a neat resource, which has a dedicated team in MPD. Hopefully it can help resolve the unsolved homicides in DC and assist our elected and appointed leaders with identifying problem areas.