SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- It's a record that no city wants to set, but this year is a record one for Springfield for the most murders. The homicide on Friday in the northeast part of the city was the city's 14th in 2012.
A witness told police it started out as a drug deal when Marlo Hodges shot James Davis because they previously had an argument over a $20 debt. Davis died; Hodges is still on the run.
People who live around the intersection of Brower Street at Rogers Avenue said, at one time, they couldn't envision this kind of crime happening in their neighborhood.
"Years ago when I bought my home, it was a nice neighborhood here, retired people. And I never thought what it would be like now," said Cassandra Siperko.
The city's 14 murders more than double the number from last year: five. The previous record was 12. Police said six homicides per year is average.
The murder on Friday and the others this year have only one common factor.
"We do believe this to be an isolated event. We don't believe that this was something where a random subject was killed," said Cpl. Matt Brown, the outgoing public affairs officer for the Springfield Police Department.
Brown said, in nearly every murder case this year, the suspect and victim knew each other. Police said that's important to note so people understand these are not random acts of violence.
Random or not, it's still takes a toll on those who live close to where the crimes occurred.
"As a retired person you want to relax and enjoy your home and your yard and sometimes you're afraid," said Siperko.
Springfield officers are working with other law enforcement agencies to try to pinpoint if there's a reason for this increase, such as drugs, domestic abuse, or the economy. They say, though, there appears to be no common factor.