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.”