A 37-year-old man has become the city’s first homicide victim of the year.

Anthony Avery of New Haven was shot in the chest Sunday morning near Truman Elementary School in the Hill neighborhood.

Police were investigating the killing Monday and had made no arrests, Lt. Bryan Norwood said.

Crime in New Haven has been on the decline for several years, but the homicide rate increased last year for the second consecutive year.

City police investigated 20 homicides in 2001, the highest number of killings per year since 1997.

–Yale Daily News and The Associated Press