EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – After three deaths in the past week, the growing number of homicides in Evansville has many residents concerned.

Evansville has 12 homicides on the year with 60 homicides since 2019 and 18 of those 60 homicides have went unsolved. The Evansville Police Department says while they are trying to solve these homicides they are also trying to figure out why so much crime has been taking place.

“There’s been different ideas,” Sgt. Anna Gray of the Evansville Police Department stated. “I wish we could get to the root of the problem but especially when we’re talking about violent crime right now, we’re talking about teenagers. We had several cases were victims were under the age of 20, 25 years old.”

The police department believes what starts as one act of violence sometimes lead to more crimes.

“If someone has maybe been shot and they survive and they don’t want to press charges certainly that can create a chain reaction because a lot of times they don’t want to tell us anything,” Sgt. Gray explained. “They want to go out and solve it themselves. now we have another violent crime on our hands.”

Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave wedding believes there is one reason violent crimes over the last few years have risen in the area.

“People, they’re living a riskier lifestyle,” Sheriff Wedding said. “I think people are utilizing more drugs. Drugs have a higher potency. I think people are suffering from chronic substance abuse and mental addictions and we’re seeing the bi-product of that by violence.”

Sheriff Wedding pointed to the increased used of a new armored vehicle which was acquired for hostile situations also seeing a rise in use to deal with many violent acts of crime.

“I thought we would use this thing sparingly,” Sheriff Wedding said. “That it would be there when we needed it but the number of times we’ve called that vehicle out is well above what I had anticipated.”