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Homicide is the killing of one human being by another human being.

Although the term homicide is sometimes used synonymously with murder, homicide is broader in scope than murder. Murder is a form of criminal homicide; other forms of homicide might not constitute criminal acts. These homicides are regarded as justified or excusable. For example, individuals may, in a necessary act of Self-Defense, kill a person who threatens them with death or serious injury, or they may be commanded or authorized by law to kill a person who is a member of an enemy force or who has committed a serious crime. Typically, the circumstances surrounding a killing determine whether it is criminal. The intent of the killer usually determines whether a criminal homicide is classified as murder or Manslaughter and at what degree.[1]

Domestic violence homicide accounts for about 15% of all homicides, with about 14% being stranger-on-stranger. About one-third of the victims were acquaintances of the assailant, with the remainder of cases the relationship between victim and offender undetermined.

Men are far more likely to kill other men than they are to kill women, though women are over twice as likely to kill men as they are to kill other women. Because men do the lion’s share (89.6%) of the murdering, this works out to 32.6% of homicides involving an offender and victim of opposite sex and 67.4% involving people of the same sex.

Murder, like most violent crime in general, is intraracial. Interracial murder represents 15.7% of all homicide. Some 84.3% of all murderers and murder victims are of the same race, broadly defined. The FBI breaks offenders and victims down into three racial categories—White, Black, and Other. Most Hispanics are consequently included in the White figures while Asians, American Indians, and people of mixed race are amalgamated into the Other category.

While whites (including many Hispanics) constitute 76% of the United States population, they perpetrate just 31% of the interracial homicide that takes place within its borders.

See also