CHICAGO — Data from Chicago Police Department pointed to a dip in murders this year, even as three were killed and scores of others were wounded in shootings on the warmest night of the year.
There were 18 fewer murders in April of this year compared to April 2012, a 43 percent decrease, according to the Police Department.
Police reported 67 fewer murders between January and the end of April compared with that time period in 2012, a 42 percent decrease. Nonfatal shootings have decreased 26 percent to date this year, according to the department.
In an interview on Fox Chicago Wednesday morning, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said despite the bloody night, the department's strategies are working.
"We have an unacceptable level of violence in this city," McCarthy said. "The fact is the numbers show we're making progress on it."
There have been 93 murders this year so far compared with 161 the year before.
It's also the first time since the mid-60s that the police department has reported fewer than 100 murders from January to April, cops said.
Last year, the city made national headlines for racking up more than 500 homicides, a 16 percent increase form 2011, when Chicago reported 435 murders.
But in the last seven months, the city has seen about 84 fewer murders than that period the year before, McCarthy told Fox Chicago.
"We're carrying out a plan," McCarthy said.
"We take more guns off the street than any city in the country," McCarthy told Fox before he added, "That's not going to reduce the violence."
When asked whether the cooler weather in the first months this year compared to the year before had anything to do with the decline, McCarthy pointed out that people still were shot as Chicago dealt with massive flooding.
"We don't plan around the weather," McCarthy said, adding that if they did, the city would need more meteorologists, not more crime-fighting strategies.
"There will be more people on the street on nicer days, and that’s when the gang members go out and look for each other," he told Fox, acknowledging the bloody evening.
Overall crime for the first months of 2013 decreased 10 percent compared to last year, according to the department.
"Through our work with the community, our comprehensive policing strategy and the hard work of our officers, we are continuing to make progress in reducing crime in Chicago,” McCarthy said. “As I have been saying for months, this is progress, not victory. We will have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks, and we will continue our efforts to ensure everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety.”