Missouri leads the nation in homicides involving black victims for the second year in a row with a rate seven times higher than the national average.
The Violence Policy Center released a study ranking Missouri first out of the 50 states in a list of black homicide victimization rates. In Missouri, 34.72 per 100,000 black people are victims of homicide, according to the study.
Firearms, especially handguns, are overwhelmingly the weapons of choice in homicides, according to the study. Eighty-seven percent of black homicide victims were killed with guns in 2009, the year with the most recent data available.
Of the 239 black homicide victims in Missouri in 2009, 206 were male and 33 were female.
In St. Louis, 125 of the 143 homicides in 2009 involved black victims, according to the Kansas City Star.
After Missouri, the states with the highest black homicide victimization rates are: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Indiana, Tennessee, Wisconsin, California and Nevada.