More than 150 people on Marine Street in South Bend came on Monday to remember Trey Martinez.

The quiet group hugged, lit candles, prayed the Lord’s Prayer and set loose a sky lantern in the name of South Bend’s most recent homicide victim.

The reaction to Martinez’s death comes as South Bend deals with rising numbers of homicides and assaults this year, while two other categories of violent crime — robbery and rape — have declined.

Through August, the latest month for which full statistics are available, South Bend had seen 10 homicides, an increase from five over the same period last year. The pace of homicides increased in September, with four killings in the city in the past month.

The city’s 14 homicides through September matched the same period in 2017, a year that ultimately ended with a total of 16 killings. The city ended 2018 with nine homicides.

South Bend police also reported 674 aggravated assaults through August, an increase from 488 over the same time frame in 2018.

“Based on aggravated assaults and homicides, we have had one of the more violent summers,” said Ken Garcia, a South Bend police spokesman, though he also pointed out a small but measurable decrease in rapes and robberies.

Rapes decreased to 42 from 50, and the number of robberies declined to 236, compared with 244 last year.
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