The newest crime numbers from the Chicago Police Department are staggering. October was the second deadliest month in 2016.
Police said Tuesday there were 78 murders, 353 shootings and 427 shooting victims last month. That means there have been 605 murders, 3,003 shootings and 3,633 shooting victims so far this year. In October 2015, 31 people were killed.
In August – the only month to record more homicide victims than October – more than 90 people were killed in Chicago, marking the highest number of murders in a single month in the city since August 1996, according to police records. Chicago has not seen more than 600 homicides in a year since 2003 and not more than 700 homicides since 1998, records show.
The first deadly shooting of November occurred about 30 minutes into the first day of the month. Police said a 19-year-old man was killed and a 22-year-old man was wounded in a shooting in the city’s Roseland neighborhood around 12:35 a.m. Tuesday.
Police said five districts on the South and West sides have been responsible for the majority of the increase in this year’s violence, while seven districts “have remained flat or have seen a reduction in murders this year.”
Last weekend, 17 people were killed and 41 others were wounded in shootings, marking the city’s deadliest weekend not only of the year, but dating all the way back to June 2013, according to Sun-Times homicide counts. This year’s highest total for fatal shootings on a weekend had been 13; that number was reached on both Father’s Day and Labor Day weekends.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for new police officers Monday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said more than 7,000 illegal guns where recovered so far this year. That’s about one gun recovered every hour since the start of the year and a 20 percent increase compared to 2015. But Johnson said the city still needs to do more.
“Until we start holding repeat gun offenders accountable for these crimes, we’re going to keep seeing cycles of gun violence like this,” Johnson said.
In an effort to curb violence, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced the hiring of nearly 1,000 new officers. About 300 more cadets are currently in the academy. They are set to graduate and hit the streets by the end of the year.
“We will not allow the level of violence we’ve seen in some parts of the city to continue and I have laid out a comprehensive plan to build stronger community partnerships, which is crucial to making our streets safer. Through our significant investments in people, technology and training, we will have an even greater capacity to reduce crime,” Johnson said.