Unusually deadly year: York County has had 23 homicides to date this year

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

A 26-year-old York City man who was shot on Sunday and died Monday from his wounds has been identified.

Lykeem Bethune was pronounced dead at 3:05 p.m. Monday at WellSpan York Hospital, according to a report from the York County Coroner's Office.

Bethune was shot about 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the area of East Jackson Street and South Court Avenue. Bethune was transported to the hospital after the shooting.

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Deputy coroner Michele Kirchner responded to the hospital Monday and certified the death.

York City Police investigate the scene of a shooting on East Jackson Street near South George Street in York City, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

An autopsy is scheduled for later this week, according to the coroner's office.

Bethune's was the 23rd homicide in York County this year and the 16th in York City, the coroner's office said.

"They haven't been this high in quite some time," York County Coroner Pam Gay said.

That many homicides have happened in a single year only one other time in Gay's eight years as coroner, she said. The number of homicides in a year was never as high as this before she took office, Gay added.

"We are usually at 16 to 20 a year," she said.

The county saw 27 homicides in 2017, Gay confirmed in an email. Aside from that outlier, York County has had between 17 and 22 homicides each year since 2013.

With 3½ months left in the year, Gay said the current total for the year, unfortunately, could go higher. 

There isn't one particular thing a person can point to, she said, that accounts for this year's homicide numbers.

"It's usually a mix of things," Gay said.

As bad as the numbers are, she said, York County's homicide numbers are less per capita than a lot of cities around the country.

York City Police investigate the scene of a reported shooting on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, on East Jackson Street. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"As a matter of fact, when I go out and speak, most people think they are a lot worse," Gay said. "People are shocked they are as low as they are, but obviously they are still bad. We would rather we have none."

York City Police, who are investigating Bethune's death, responded to the scene of the shooting around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Officers found Bethune with a gunshot wound and had him transported to York Hospital.

Originally, police reported that Bethune had died from his wounds on Sunday, but it was later revealed that he had not but was in critical condition.

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York City Police detectives are looking for information in the case. Anyone with information can submit a tip anonymously through the Crimewatch app or at www.yorkcitypolice.com.

People with information can also email Detective Andy Baez at abaez@yorkcity.org or call the York City Police Tip Line at 717-849-2204 or the York City Police Department at 717-846-1234 or 717-849-2219.

— Reach Anthony Maenza at amaenza@yorkdispatch.com or @atmaenza on Twitter.