The number of violent deaths here in Brazil's largest city climbed 21.8 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2011, the Sao Paulo state government said Thursday.

Sao Paulo city accounted for 585 of the 2,183 homicides recorded in the entire state in the period from Jan. 1 to June 30, the state Public Safety Office said.

Murders statewide were up 8.3 percent from last year.

Last month witnessed 434 homicides in the state, which is home to more than 40 million people, and 134 of those killings were in Sao Paulo city, representing an increase of 49 percent over June 2011.

Violence surged in June, with massacres in bars, attacks on police stations and the burning of 15 public buses, apparently in reprisal for police crackdowns in neighborhoods dominated by drug traffickers.

Six more people were slain overnight in the Sao Paulo suburb of Jacana, including three who were gunned down in a parking lot.

Recent victims of the carnage in Sao Paulo have included Tomasso Lotto, a 26-year-old Italian economist who was killed in an attempted robbery.

The son of Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon was with Lotto at the time of the incident, but escaped unhurt.

Authorities are also investigating a rise in the incidence of fatal shooting by Sao Paulo police. EFE