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During the pandemic, Norfolk's rate of homicides outpaced most other American cities

Norfolk's homicide rate has recently increased more than both Detroit and Chicago, two cities infamous for gun violence.

NORFOLK, Va. — It's no secret that crime surged nationwide during the pandemic. But alarming new research found Norfolk fared worse than most American cities.

Norfolk's rising homicide rate during the pandemic ranked even worse than Detroit and Chicago, two cities infamous for gun violence.

That's according to research from WalletHub, which ranked the Top 50 American cities with the highest increase in homicide rates during COVID-19.

Norfolk ranked No. 8, just one spot ahead of Detroit.

The study isn't comparing the number of people killed; it's comparing the difference in the rate of killings from before the pandemic, to the midst of it.

New Orleans had the biggest spike in the homicide rate, followed by Cincinnati. Atlanta, Baltimore and Memphis rounded out the top 5.

Virginia Beach and Chesapeake also made the list, at 34 and 35, respectively. Both cities had a bigger increase in the homicide rate during the pandemic than New York City, which ranked 36, according to the study.

No other Virginia cities made the list.

Gun violence has hit Norfolk especially hard this year.

Detectives were tasked with two double homicides during the first 10 days of the year, and the killings haven't let up since.

Two high-profile shootings downtown ended with four people dead and four others hurt.

And it comes as staffing shortages plague the department, which will soon be under new leadership after Police Chief Larry Boone recently announced his abrupt retirement.

This WalletHub study underscores what our ongoing 13News Now investigations into surging crime have been telling you for weeks: violence is hitting almost every Hampton Roads city harder now than pre-pandemic.

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