Portland Murders on Pace for Record Low

This week's fatal stabbing marked only fourth homicide this year.

There's nothing good about the June 15 fatal stabbing at Skinn Gentleman's Club, a strip joint on Northeast 60th Avenue.

But the murder of Shantina Turner, 29, highlighted a statistical anomaly: Turner's death was just the fourth murder in Portland this year.

Although gang-related shootings and assaults are on pace with last year in Portland, homicides are way down.

Here are the past six years' totals, from Portland Police Bureau statistics:

2010: 23

2011: 19

2012: 25

2013: 16

2014: 26

2015: 34

One murder is too many. But the fact that we are nearly six months into 2016 with just four killings recorded—on pace for a total of eight this year—is far better than last year and vastly better than the situation in many cities.

Related: Portland has the third lowest homicide rate among the 30 largest cities in the U.S.

Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson says officers are amazed by this year's numbers.

"The homicide detail has nearly 50 years worth of records in the office and there is not a single year with numbers as low as 2016," Simpson says. "It is truly remarkable. Although we have had only four homicides this year, detectives are not sitting around playing Candy Crush. There is plenty of work from years past and detectives are continuing to work to solve cases."

Police quickly identified a suspect in the Turner homicide on June 15.

Immediately following the stabbing, security guards at Skinn chased the alleged killer, Rinita Lowe, 23, across the street and into the custody of two police officers who were getting coffee at a 7-Eleven. Lowe was arrested and taken into custody.