KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee city and county have together recorded the highest number of killings in nearly two decades.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Monday that 30 homicides have occurred within Knoxville city limits in 2017, and six killings have occurred in Knox County. According to the nonprofit Murder Accountability Group, with a month left in 2017, these are the highest figures since 1998, which saw a total of 40 homicides investigated.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch says an uptick in heroin and fentanyl dealing has led to more violence.

He says police have made arrests in 14 killings. Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk says three cases have been cleared by exceptional means.

All six cases handled by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office have been closed, including two fatal shootings by sheriff’s deputies.

Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel,

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