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Homicide, suicide rates outpacing 2020 numbers in Palm Beach County

Drug overdose deaths currently down from last year
Publix shooting Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office command center in parking lot
Posted at 3:01 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 15:01:16-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Homicide and suicide numbers in Palm Beach County continue to be above the rates seen last year, according to figures released Thursday by the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office.

In a year-to-year comparison, the medical examiner's statistics showed a surge in homicides from at this time this year.

The county said there were 50 homicides in Palm Beach County from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 2020, in Palm Beach County.

However, during the same time period this year, the county has already had 75 homicides, a 50 percent increase.

Furthermore, more people are dying by suicide in Palm Beach County than in 2020.

Data shows there were 121 suicide deaths in Palm Beach County at this time last year. Through August of this year, the medical examiner's figures show 147 suicides.

It's unclear how much the stresses of the pandemic have contributed to this violence and loss of life.

The medical examiner's office said Thursday that there were no suicides of people that tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020 and just one in 2021.

A spokesperson said it was unclear if any of the suicide victims had previously tested positive for the virus and had then recovered before ending their life.

On an encouraging note, statistics show drug overdose deaths in Palm Beach County are at lower levels than at this time last year -- 377 so far this year compared to 444 through August 2020.