Guns are the most common weapon used to kill Black homicide victims in the U.S. A Violence Policy Center study found that 88 percent of Black homicide victims nationwide were killed with guns. Of these, nearly two thirds were killed with a handgun. The study, Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2019 Homicide Data, also ranks the states according to their Black homicide victimization rates, putting Missouri, Illinois and Indiana at the top. It is based on unpublished data from the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR).
“Black men, women, boys, and girls are the most impacted victims of homicide in our nation, yet year after year this shocking and unacceptable toll is allowed to continue," says the center's Josh Sugarmann. "The goal of our research is to help support advocates and organizations working on the ground to stop this lethal violence while, at the same time, continuing to educate and engage the public and policymakers on the need to address this ongoing national crisis." There were 7,441 Black homicide victims in the United States in 2019. Black Americans represented 14 percent of the U.S. population, yet accounted for 52 percent of all homicide victims. The Black homicide victimization rate was nearly four times the overall national victimization rate and nearly seven times the white homicide victimization rate. For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 77 percent of Black victims The number of victims killed by strangers was 672.