Source: Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
Problem/Condition: Violent crimes are on the rise. An estimated 50,000 persons die annually in the United States as a result of violence-related injuries. Homicide is the second leading cause of death for persons aged 15-24 years, the third leading cause for persons aged 25-34 years, and the fourth for persons aged 1-14 years. Similarly, suicide is the second leading cause of death for persons aged 25-34 years and the third leading cause for persons aged 10-24 years.
This report summarizes data from CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) regarding violent deaths from 16 U.S. states for 2005. Results are reported by sex, age group, race/ethnicity, marital status, location of injury, method of injury, circumstances of injury, and other selected characteristics.
Reporting Period Covered: 2005.
Results: For 2005, a total of 15,495 fatal incidents involving 15,962 violent deaths occurred in the 16 NVDRS states included in this report. The majority (56.1%) of deaths were suicides, followed by homicides and deaths involving legal interventions (29.6%), violent deaths of undetermined intent (13.3%), and unintentional firearm deaths (0.7%). Fatal injury rates varied by sex, race/ethnicity, age group, and method of injury. Rates were substantially higher for males than for females and for American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) and blacks than for whites and Hispanics. Rates were highest for persons aged 20–24 years. For method of injury, the three highest rates were reported for firearms, poisonings, and hanging/strangulation/suffocation.
Suicides occurred at higher rates among males, AI/ANs, whites, and older persons and most often involved the use of firearms in the home. Suicides were precipitated primarily by mental illness, intimate partner or physical health problems, or a crisis during the previous 2 weeks. Homicides occurred at higher rates among males and young adult blacks and most often involved the use of firearms in the home or on a street/highway. Homicides were precipitated primarily by an argument over something other than money or property or in conjunction with another crime. Similar variation was reported among the other manners of death and special situations or populations highlighted in this report.
Manner of Death
- Suicide. Suicide is defined as a death resulting from the use of force against oneself when a preponderance of the evidence indicates that the use of force was intentional.
- Homicide. Homicide is defined as a death resulting from the use of force or power, threatened or actual, against another person, group, or community when a preponderance of evidence indicates that the use of force was intentional.
- Unintentional firearm. The term “unintentional firearm” is used when a death results from a penetrating injury or gunshot wound from a weapon that uses a powder charge to fire a projectile and for which a preponderance of evidence indicates that the shooting was not directed intentionally at the decedent.
- Undetermined intent. The term “undetermined intent” is used when a death results from the use of force or power against oneself or another person for which the evidence indicating one manner of death is no more compelling than evidence indicating another.
- Legal intervention. The term “legal intervention” is used when a decedent is killed by a police officer or other peace officer (a person with specified legal authority to use deadly force), including military police, acting in the line of duty.
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