Family and friends of Darian Barlow held a balloon release outside Club Legends in Killeen on Oct. 18, 2021. Barlow, 21, died of injuries sustained in a shooting outside Club Legends. The investigation into his death is ongoing, according to police.

Killeen saw a dramatic decline in criminal homicides from 2020 to 2021 offering some hope for a safer, less deadly 2022.

In 2021, according to Killeen Police Department data, 18 people were killed within the city limits, 30.8% less than the 26 criminal homicides recorded in 2020.

In total, Killeen had 31 homicides in 2020, however five of those homicides were considered noncriminal or justified. The year before that, in 2019, Killeen recorded 16 criminal homicides. In 2018, there were seven, and in 2017, there were 18.

KPD may have ended 2021 with a lower clearance rate on its criminal homicides than it has in the past few years.

A clearance rate includes cases the police department hands over to the district attorney for prosecution, or are cleared by “extraordinary means,” such as the death of the primary suspect, according to the FBI.

In 2021, police arrested suspects in four of the 18 criminal homicides, according to arrest data previously obtained by the Herald in November. In two of the 18 homicides, the suspected killer died of self-inflected gunshot wounds, police said. And in one case, involving a 16-year-old who was fatally shot, another juvenile was sent to the juvenile probation office, but it is unclear what else was done in that case.

The Herald requested an update from KPD Monday on the number of arrests in 2021 criminal homicide cases but had not received a final answer from KPD’s Criminal Investigation Division by deadline Monday.

The following criminal homicides took place in 2021:

  • Jan. 30 — Asher Levi Kitchens, 34, was fatally shot in the 600 block of Murphy Street. Syrknoreon Dewuntrel Pilgram, 30, has been charged with one count of murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
  • Feb. 23 — Tiffany Shaquina Shepard, 34, was fatally shot in the 3900 block of Tatonka Drive. Archie Andrew Mitchell, 40, was also found dead from apparent self-inflicted gunshot wounds in what appeared to be a homicide-suicide.
  • May 2 — Michael Dequan Sanders, 28, was fatally shot in the 300 block of South Second Street. This shooting is still under investigation, and no arrests have been announced.
  • May 31 — A 16-year-old juvenile was fatally shot in the 2200 block of Dickens Drive. Police said an individual was sent to the juvenile probation office.
  • May 31 — Hudson Tai, 67, was found dead in the 600 block of Adams Avenue.
  • June 7 — Anthony House, 38, was fatally shot in the 300 block of South 42nd Street. An individual had been detained but later released.
  • June 11 — Darryl Glen Williams, 60, was found dead in a grassy area in the 200 block of Avenue B.
  • July 31 — Deon Dewayne Elliot, 36, was fatally shot in the 4300 block of South Fort Hood Street. One person was charged with deadly conduct, a Class A misdemeanor. Another person had been detained but later released.
  • Aug. 1 — Kentaro Cooper, 25, was fatally shot in the 3900 block of Trimmier Road.
  • Sept. 5 — Braylon Tyrese Hines, 21, was fatally shot in the 500 block of East Veterans Memorial Boulevard.
  • Sept. 6 — Cullen Gerard Sinclair Jr., 18, was fatally shot in the 4500 block of Westcliff Road.
  • Sept. 7 — Alondra Santiago, 19, was fatally shot in the 1800 block of Stardust Drive.
  • Sept. 16 — Army Sgt. Francine Martinez died from wounds she sustained after being shot on Sept. 4 in the 100 block of West Elms Road. Army Cpl. Nakealon Keunte Mosley was arrested Sept. 7 and charged with aggravated assault family member with a deadly weapon. He was later indicted on a murder charge by a Bell County grand jury.
  • Oct. 18 — Darian Nelson Barlow died after being shot on Oct. 16 in the 300 block of South Second Street.
  • Oct. 31 — Jhirmack Wartell Brown, 39, was fatally shot in the 1200 block of Middleton Street. Perry Tyshawn Davis, 43, was arrested Nov. 5 and charged with murder and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
  • Nov. 9 — James Matthew Moten, 47, was fatally stabbed in the 400 block of Sladecek Drive. The suspect, Javeon Rondre Moten, 18, died at a Temple hospital of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
  • Nov. 15 — Dominic Nicholson, 18, was fatally shot in the 600 block of Hallmark Avenue.
  • Dec. 21 — Amos Jeremiah Goff, 23, died of a single gunshot wound in the 700 block of Cardinal Avenue. | 254-501-7567