Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 | 2 a.m.
Aaron Matthews died in the driveway of his northwest Las Vegas home. His girlfriend of about four years shot and killed him, Metro Police said.
Matthews’ death Feb. 10 was the city’s 17th homicide of the year. Within days, the total had climbed to 19.
That’s almost a 37 percent increase from 2015, when there were 14 homicides through mid-February.
Is violent crime on the rise in the valley?
It’s too early to tell, said Laura Meltzer, a Metro Police spokeswoman.
The early tally may not be indicative of the total come year end. For example, in 2013, Metro officers investigated 17 homicides by mid-February but 97 for the year — a relatively low number compared with subsequent years.
But a slow start also doesn’t guarantee a low number of homicides at the end of the year. Only nine killings were investigated by Metro officers in the first two months of 2015, but the annual tally climbed to 134 by Dec. 31.
Homicide rates are hard to predict because every incident is different, Meltzer said. Some killings stem from arguments and are difficult to predict, since they’re often spontaneous and emotionally charged. Other times, slayings are related to criminal activity, such as drug deals.
Total number of homicides investigated by Metro Police:
• 2012: 77
• 2013: 97
• 2014: 121
• 2015: 134
• 2016: ??
• • •
Number of homicides investigated by Metro Police from Jan. 1 through Feb. 17:
• 2012: 8
• 2013: 17
• 2014: 9
• 2015: 14
• 2016: 19*
*The Henderson and North Las Vegas police departments each have been called to investigate three homicides so far this year.
• On Jan. 1, North Las Vegas police responded to a shooting in the 4000 block of Smokey Fog Avenue. A 44-year-old man had been shot in the head. Police said the suspect and victim knew each other and got into a fight.
• On Jan. 2, Metro Police responded to a business in the 5000 block of East Craig Road, where they found two men with gunshot wounds. Both were taken to University Medical Center, where one died. Police said the man who was killed approached two men in the business and a fight broke out before shots were fired.
• On Jan. 5, Metro Police were called to a fatal fist fight near the 900 block of South Decatur Boulevard. Tracy Morrison, 47, was accused of punching a man to death inside a tent.
• A person injured Jan. 5 near the intersection of Hacienda Avenue and Lamb Boulevard died a few days later. Metro Police deemed the death a homicide.
• A dispute between two people June 25 in the 5000 block of Smoke Ranch Road led to a man being shot. He died Jan. 6.
• On Jan. 11, Henderson Police began investigating the death of a 54-year-old man who police said was shot by his 22-year-old son. Officers found the man’s body in the 900 block of Painted Pony Drive.
• A dispute between two families turned deadly Jan. 14 when two men were shot in the 3000 block of Riverside Drive. One of the men died at the scene, and the other was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition.
• An 85-year-old man who was critically injured Nov. 23 during a home burglary in the 100 block of Kings Canyon Court, Henderson, died Jan. 15. Two women suspected of stealing his car were arrested Nov. 24 and later were charged with murder.
• On Jan. 21, Metro Police responding to the 4800 block of Luxor Way found a man with multiple gunshot wounds in an apartment complex parking lot. He was taken to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
• On Jan. 23, a man riding a bicycle near the 4800 block of East Owens Avenue was shot and later died at University Medical Center. Metro Police said the rounds came from inside a black pickup truck, which had pulled up next to the man about 4:15 a.m.
• On Jan. 25, North Las Vegas Police began investigating the stabbing death of a 43-year-old woman in the 1200 block of Ferguson Avenue. Police say the woman was killed by her boyfriend, who was arrested.
• On Jan. 27, Metro Police found a man lying dead on the ground at an apartment complex parking lot in the 3500 block of East Lake Mead Boulevard. He had been shot multiple times. Witnesses said they saw a man fleeing after shots were heard.
• Also on Jan. 27, a man who had been stabbed in the 2000 block of Santa Rita Drive died at University Medical Center. Investigators said a man and woman who knew the victim came to his home, where a fight ensued. The pair left before police arrived.
• On Jan. 28, two men were shot at a bus stop in the 4900 block of South Eastern Avenue. One died at University Medical Center. Metro Police said the men were at the bus stop when they were approached by four men and an argument broke out.
• Also on Jan. 28, an 18-year-old man was shot in the 330 block of Civic Center Drive and later died at University Medical Center. North Las Vegas Police said the man was shot after an argument turned into a fight.
• Metro Police on Jan. 30 responded to an early morning call about a woman screaming for help in the 3800 block of Terrazzo Avenue. The woman had been shot in the doorway of a townhouse and later died at University Medical Center.
• On Feb. 1, Johnny Dee Haney, 26, was walking with his 4-year-old daughter outside the Villas at Green Valley apartments when he was shot and killed. He was on his way to a custody exchange with the girl’s mother. Henderson police say the girl’s mother, Krystal Guice, 25, and Deonte Coleman, 25, are responsible for the killing.
• On Feb. 3, a man walking near the 2300 block of Olive Street was shot multiple times.
• On Feb. 4, Metro Police found a man shot in the head in the 7800 block of Nookfield Drive. He died at University Medical Center. Detectives identified the suspect as Fuyan Liao, 56, and issued a warrant for his arrest.
• Also on Feb. 4, Metro Police responded to a shooting in a parking lot in the 100 block of South Rainbow Boulevard. Detectives said the victim drove to the lot, got in the backseat of another car and was shot. The car traveled a few feet, and the man was seen jumping out of the car with his hands up before he was shot again. He died at the scene.
• A fight between a father and son turned deadly Feb. 5 when the father, who had been stabbed four times, shot and killed his son in the 1500 block of Keifer Valley Street, Metro Police said. The son, 19, died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
• A deadly fight over money took place Feb. 9 in the 2900 block of Kennewick Drive, Metro Police said. Officers say a man was shot in front of his home by someone in a gray pickup truck. Police were looking for a man and a woman who were seen in a gray truck. Police say the woman may have known the victim.
• On Feb. 10, a woman shot her boyfriend dead outside their home in the 4700 block of Sweeping Glen Street, Metro Police said. Catherine Brewington, 54, told police she was in the process of moving when Aaron Matthews choked her and reached into his waistband. She said she believed he was going to shoot her, she told police, so she shot him in the chest with a shotgun. A medical exam showed Brewington had bruises and scratches on her body, but police later said Matthews was shot in the back.
• On Feb. 12, a man was killed inside a vehicle in the 1900 block of Cindysue Street, near Texas Station. Metro Police said the shooter opened fire from inside the vehicle.
• On Feb. 15, Metro Police responded to an apartment complex in the 4500 block of East Karen Avenue and found a mortally wounded man lying outside a building. The victim had been shot after a fight with another man.