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Uptown Homicides Hit 5-Year High, On Pace For Violent Year, Data Shows

By Mina Bloom | July 7, 2015 6:23am
 Blood-stained pavement in the 4400 block of North Magnolia Avenue, where a 19-year-old man was shot and killed June 17.
Blood-stained pavement in the 4400 block of North Magnolia Avenue, where a 19-year-old man was shot and killed June 17.
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DNAinfo/Mina Bloom

UPTOWN — It's been a violent year in Uptown, with seven shooting deaths so far in 2015 — the highest amount in the last five years, according to data collected and analyzed by DNAinfo Chicago.

This year is also shaping up to be one of the most violent years in recent memory, data shows. With about half the year to go, there have been a total of 13 total shootings in Uptown, according to the data.

That's compared to a total of 15 shootings all of last year, 16 in 2013, 19 in 2012, 32 in 2011 and 25 in 2010, according to the data.

In Uptown, a large percentage of shooting victims have died from their injuries this year and last year, according to the data. This year, seven out of 13 victims have died, while last year five out of 15 victims died. In 2012, five of the 19 shooting victims died. 

The year before, in 2013, only one of 16 shooting victims died, according to the data. The two years that saw the highest number of shootings — 25 in 2010 and 32 in 2011 — had fewer shooting deaths. Each year saw three homicides. 

DNAinfo Chicago's analysis defines shooting as a criminal incident in which a person is wounded by a gun fired by someone else.

Since Ald. James Cappleman (46th) was first elected in 2011, the total number of shootings has gone down each year.

But this year Uptown is on pace for 26 shootings, which — if it holds — would be the most since the year he first took office.

In a written statement, Cappleman said he's "very concerned" about the "new surge in violence that is taking a different pattern than in past years."

Cappleman said he's not only working with Chicago Police and other aldermen like Harry Osterman (48th) and Joe Moore (50th) to come up with solutions, but he also met with Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel last week.

Uptown isn't the only neighborhood seeing more violence, Cappleman said. Gang infighting and taunting over social media has to led to increased violence on the entire North Side, according to Town Hall police officers.

Edgewater, for example, has already seen six shootings this year, including one recent shooting death, according to the data. The North Side neighborhood saw a total of six shootings all of last year and the year before, data shows. Over the last five years, Edgewater saw the most shootings — eight, according to the data — in 2011. (Uptown had the highest number of shootings over the last five years in 2011, too.)

Rogers Park is also on pace for an especially violent year. The neighborhood has seen 14 shootings so far this year, according to the data. That's compared to 29 in 2014, which was tied for most shootings with 2012.

One concerned Uptown resident, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, has decided to take matters into his hands and record the shootings on his own as they happen.

The resident said he believes the total number of shootings so far this year should be higher. He has counted at least five shootings since January that were not included in the total number of shootings collected by DNAinfo Chicago. 

That's because these were incidents in which no one was injured and DNAinfo Chicago's analysis only includes shootings in which someone was injured.

But the resident believes it's important to include any instance in which a gun has been fired to provide a full picture of the violence.

"Most, if not all of these shootings represent attempted murder. It just so happens the perpetrator missed his target. Each shooting also represents an incident where an innocent bystander (my wife or 1-year-old daughter) could have been injured or killed," he said in an email.

He has lived right next to Truman College for 3½ years, and his wife has lived there for six years.

Based on the data he's collected, he said there's "no question" his "immediate area" around Truman College is more violent this year compared to the last five years.

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