When it comes to cases of criminal homicide, 2015 proved to be a violent year in Erie County.

According to Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook, in 2015, there were a total of 12 homicides in Erie County.  Compared to years past, in 2014 there were a total of 14 and in 2013, there were six.

"It goes without saying that one homicide is too many,” said Cook.  “Historically, we've averaged over a period of years, about eight homicides a year.  So the numbers are actually keeping on track with that."

Of the 10 homicides in the City of Erie, seven were by gunfire.  According to Erie Police Chief Randy Bowers, three of those cases remain unsolved.

One of those cases is the shooting death of DeAndrye Henderson.  Last February, Henderson was shot and killed while sitting in a parked vehicle on East 14th Street.

The other case is the July shootout on Summit Street, which left Elijah Jackson and Shakur Franklin dead.  Both victims were 16.

"That is an ongoing, very active investigation at this time,” said Chief Bowers.  "We're hopeful that case will be closed by arrest in the very near future."

According to Chief Bowers, despite those cases, the department has implemented several initiatives that have helped reduce violent crimes.

"We've had success in reducing the number of shots fired cases,” said Chief Bowers.  “We've also had success in continuing to take guns off the street."

According to the chief, in 2015, the department seized 197 guns off the streets of Erie.  In 2014, police seized 174 guns.