By Sarah Langbein and Jim Leusner The Orlando Sentinel
ORLANDO, Fla. — Violent crimes committed with firearms in Florida exploded last year while the state's overall crime rate dipped slightly, according to preliminary statistics posted Monday to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Web site.
Murders statewide totaled 1,129, a 28 percent increase from a year earlier. The number of slayings with a firearm soared 42 percent. Robberies climbed 13.4 percent and those with a gun rose 20 percent, the data show.