Silicon Valley city battles surging homicide rate

By TERRY COLLINS | July 30, 2011 | 12:59 PM EDT

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — San Jose has dubbed itself the "Capital of Silicon Valley" and has for years prided itself on being one of the safest big cities in America.

Yet, it is on pace for more than 50 killings in 2011, a rate not seen in about 20 years.

Few in the San Francisco Bay area's most populous city know exactly why it has had 28 murders so far this year, already surpassing 2010's total of 20.

While there hasn't been a murder in San Jose in more than a month, the city's current total is on par with its less populated, but more famous neighbor to the north, San Francisco, which had 29 homicides as of Friday.

So far this year, nearly half of San Jose's deaths have been gang-related.