Gwinnett homicide rate doubles over the weekend

12:26 AM, Jul 30, 2013   |    comments
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Police investigate homicide in Norcross
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  • GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga -- Gwinnett County Police were on a pace this year to have one of the lowest homicide rates in recent history. Through nearly seven months of this year there were only three homicides in the county. That changed this weekend when the number was more than doubled in a 48 hour period.

    Murders are the hardest crime for police to prevent. That's because it is usually a crime of passion. "Things like burglary we can put a bunch of vehicles in a neighborhood to discourage burglars," Corporal Jake Smith said. "Murders are a lot more difficult to police preventively."

    In 2012 there were 30 homicides in Gwinnett County. Through nearly seven months in 2013 there were only three. The county was on a pace for only six homicides, but that changed this past weekend with four homicides in less than 48 hours.

    It started Saturday night around 10pm in Duluth where the bodies of Young Chan Choi, 63, and his Sun Hee, 59, were found brutally stabbed in their home on Worrall Hill Way.

    The couple owns a restaurant supply business in Norcross. "It might have something to do with a perception of this couple having money," Cpl. Smith said. "We're not a hundred percent sure of what the motive in this case might be yet."

    A neighbor said she saw a white car outside their home Saturday night and one or two men approach the home with a fruit basket. "Seemingly they were let into the home so it seems that they were either invited or maybe somehow knew the victims," Smith said.

    Sunday afternoon at about 3:00pm the body of Darinel Martinez Lopez, 26, was found in a wooded area behind the Landmark at Bella Vista Apartments in Duluth. Police are waiting for an autopsy to tell them how he died.

    On Monday morning, shortly after 7:00am Gwinnett County Police responded to the Celadon Townhome Apartments in Norcross and found two men on the ground in front of Building F. One of the men was dead from a gunshot wound and the other suffered serious head trauma.

    It was the fourth homicide in less than 48 hours. "There's any number of factors that can be involved in crimes like this," Cpl. Smith said. "The crimes of passion are really hard to target for suppression efforts or anything like that."

    The four homicides this weekend make a total of seven this year. The county is still well below the pace of last year's 30 homicides.

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