2017 was nearly a record-breaking year for annual homicides in Nashville.

Last year, 107 people were murdered, compared to the city’s all-time high of 112 in 1997.

The alarming statistic is made worse by the rapid increase in annual murders in recent years. In 2014, 41 people were killed in Nashville. The city has seen a nearly 160 percent increase in murders over the past four years.

Many of the victims and alleged killers were just teenagers. Staff at the Oasis Center of Nashville are working with youth to try and steer them towards a path away from crime and violence.

“The young person feels like they don’t have a voice, like no one hears them,” Ron Johnson said. “It’s an epidemic.”

Metro police spokesperson Kristen Mumford told News 4 a majority of the 2017 homicides involved people who knew each other and were “engaged in risky behavior.” Only a few of the crimes involved a victim and suspect who were complete strangers.

If you know a teenager who needs a mentor, the Oasis Center is looking for more young people to participate in programs. Call them at 615-327-4455.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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