EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- From Evansville’s first murder in 2022 on Madison Ave. in February to a double homicide earlier in March on St. Joseph Ave, to the city’s third murder investigation of the year on Indiana St, violent incidents in Evansville have been as random as they have been concerning.

Evansville Police Department Sgt. Anna Gray that murders seem to be “on the rise” yet again in Evansville, but says there hasn’t been a clear crime pattern between any of the incidents so far, saying they’ve all been in “random locations.” Sgt. Gray says that makes it hard for them to assign extra patrols and be proactive in fighting crime.

The recent uptick in murders, including three victims in the past week, comes after 2021 saw yet another increase in murders in the city. Counselor Lisa Seif says the increase in violence could be attributed to “romance and finance.”

Seif explains that the COVID-19 pandemic has put even more psychological stress on people, from lockdowns to personal matters like breakups, divorces, and unemployment. Whereas people had a sense or illusion of control before the pandemic, those stresses both locally and globally have taken a mental toll and Seif says anger is at an all-time high.

Still, Sgt. Gray says that violence should never be the answer to stress, adding that people experiencing stress should reach out to family and friends before “grabbing a gun.” Gray notes that the local uptick in violence corresponds with a national increase as well but says Evansville remains a safe place, overall.