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November 14, 2011

The overall violent crime rate in New Jersey was flat in 2010, and nonviolent crime was only up 2 percent from the year before. However, one statistic in the state's annual Uniform Crime Index report stands out: the murder rate was up 16 percent from 320 to 372 killings in 2010.

That was the highest number of murders since 2007's 381 offenses.

Handguns were the weapon of choice in 241 killings. Of the murders, 25 percent of the offenders were friends or acquaintances of the victim, while 16 percent were strangers and four percent were relatives. Drug and gang-related circumstances accounted for 9 percent of the murders. Domestic violence accounted for 38.

The most frequent day of the week to be murdered: Saturday. The most frequent offender was a black male, aged 20-24. The most frequent victim was also a black male aged 20-24.

The good news? Murder arrests were up to 61 percent, from 41 percent in 2009.

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