CHICAGO – Chicago ended 2012 with 506 murders, according to police.
The official year-end tally is the most since 2008, which notched 513 murders. It is more than a 16 percent increase from 2011, which saw 433 homicides.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy told DNAinfo Chicago that Chicago's murder problem stems from a staggering amount of illegal guns - and their use in the hands of gang members.
McCarthy also pointed out that the city's most recent numbers are a far cry from those of the early '90s, which averaged more than 900 murders per year.
The official murder count by police does not include justified officer-involved shootings or reckless homicide such as vehicle accidents, said Chicago police spokeswoman Melissa Stratton.