Hattiesburg averaging a murder a month

This has already proven to be the deadliest year of the decade in Hattiesburg.

News 7 compiled nine years of data from the Hattiesburg Police Department and learned that 2006 has seen more homicides than any other year dating back to 1998.

With three months left in the year, the Hub City has already seen nine homicides in 2006.

The most recent occurred Tuesday morning, when 27-year-old Robert Cooper was slain near his residence on Brooklane Drive just off South 19th Avenue.

Police say they are working some leads in the case, and believe the killers put some thought and planning into the murder.