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2016 Off To A Bloody Start as Shootings Double: 42 People Killed, 210 Hurt

By Kelly Bauer | January 27, 2016 8:23am | Updated on January 28, 2016 9:53am
 A man was killed and a woman wounded in a shooting on the Skyway Jan. 13.
A man was killed and a woman wounded in a shooting on the Skyway Jan. 13.
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DNAinfo/Devlin Brown

CHICAGO — Forty-two people have been killed and 210 wounded so far in January, almost doubling last year's numbers.

It was the most violent January in years, according to DNAinfo Chicago data: In all, there were 199 shootings Jan. 1-25, while there were just 100 shootings over the same period last year. The data doesn't include the victims of violence from Tuesday into Wednesday, when three people were killed and another wounded.

Through early Tuesday, 42 people had been shot dead and 210 wounded, while last January saw 22 people dead and 98 wounded in shootings. On Monday alone, five people were shot and killed in just 11 hours.

Here's how this January compares to the past (data is for Jan 1-25 of each year listed):

 Total shootingsPeople killedPeople wounded
January 201619942210
January 20151002298
January 2014701663
January 201313125127
January 201211628107
January 201111815125
January 2010821290

The month of soaring shooting numbers follows a rise in gun violence throughout all of 2015. Last year saw 2,427 shootings and 468 homicides, the highest those numbers have been since 2012, when the city had 2,451 shootings and 506 homicides.

Chicago Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this month's rise in shootings.

But earlier this month DNAinfo Chicago found officers were making fewer stops, fewer gun arrests and confiscating fewer guns even while shootings had risen. Morale has sunk among officers, sources said.

"Taunting" on social media between gang members has played a significant role in this year's rise in shootings, interim Supt. John Escalante said in mid-January.

RELATED: Just Two Hours Into The New Year, Chicago Racks Up Its First Homicide

Gang members have taken to Twitter and other social media platforms to argue, issue threats and arrange conflict-ridden meetups. One study found 74 percent of gang members who responded to a survey identified as frequent Internet users and said they "had established an online presence to gain respect for their gang."

Social media is the "modern gang graffiti," Escalante said.

To combat those gangs and gun violence, Chicago Police have partnered with the Cook County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff's deputies will join police patrols where violence has spiked in 2016, Escalante said. The departments seek to root out the city's gangs.

"Together we are going to send a clear message, a unified message, that gang violence in our communities will not be tolerated," Escalante said.

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