In the past 10 years, 469 mur­ders — 75 per­cent of all the city’s killings — have been com­mitted with a firearm. These are also the most dif­fi­cult crimes for Boston police to solve, with sus­pects iden­ti­fied in only 174 of those cases, for a bleak average of 37 per­cent. The city’s clear­ance rate overall during the period was 47 percent.

Despite all the advances in tech­nology, gun-​​fueled mur­ders pose an ongoing chal­lenge for cops, said Jack Levin, a North­eastern Uni­ver­sity criminologist.

A knife, for example, is an instru­ment weapon. …There’s a lot more of an oppor­tu­nity for phys­ical evi­dence to be left at a crime scene,” Levin said. “You can dis­tance your­self with a gun and it pro­vides an oppor­tu­nity for a killer to escape.”

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