NEW YORK ‚?? The number of New York City murders is expected to hit a record low this year, and shootings are at their lowest point in at least 18 years. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly credited police efforts as they announced the statistics Friday. So far, there have been 414 homicides citywide this year. That‚??s the fewest since reliable record-keeping for homicides began in 1963. The previous low was 471, in 2009. There have been 1,353 shootings this year. Comparable records for shootings go back to 1994. The prior low was 1,420 in 2009. Bloomberg often calls New York the safest big city in America. The description is based on FBI statistics for seven major crimes. New York has the lowest rate per 100,000 residents among the 25 most populous U.S. cities.