New Jersey recorded the lowest number of shootings in 2023 since record keeping began in 2009, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday.
Murphy, a Democrat, and other officials announced the milestone, calling it a “great achievement for public safety.”
“We must also hold in our thoughts the victims of gun violence and their loved ones and must recommit ourselves to the fight to fully eliminate gun violence from our state,” Murphy said.
In 2023, 924 people were shot in the state, down 13% over the previous year and the first time fewer than 1,000 were shot in a year, officials said. Of the more than 900 shot, 191 were killed, officials added, down 8% over the previous year.
Officials attributed the downturn in part to federal, state and local law enforcement officials’ efforts to create safer neighborhoods, including by using data and technology to reduce shootings.
“This historic undertaking was predicated on a holistic approach to strategically deploy limited resources, a reliance on and exploitation of data and technology, community engagement, and law enforcement partnerships,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
It’s unclear the extent to which officials’ actions led to the downturn in shootings, as some violent crime across the country has been falling to levels not seen since the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the FBI.
Murphy has made passing gun control legislation a top priority of his administration. He and the Democratic-controlled Legislature passed legislation enabling the attorney general to pursue lawsuits against gun-makers, with the first cases brought late last year.
The governor also pointed to a number of community-based violence intervention programs aimed at de-escalating conflicts before a shooting erupts.
The announcement came just a day after the fatal shooting of Muslim leader Hassan Sharif in Newark, the state’s largest city.
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