SOUTH LOOP — Thursday night's shootout that left a man dead and a police officer wounded blocks from Soldier Field underscores a trend in the South Loop, where shootings have been more prevalent this year than anytime this decade.
Thursday night's shooting in Battle of Fort Dearborn Park, 1801 S. Calumet Ave., was the fifth in the area so far this year, surpassing the four South Loop shootings reported all of last year — or any year since at least 2010, according to police data compiled by DNAinfo.
The rash of 2016 shootings began with a January shooting at the McCormick Place Hyatt that left a 25-year-old man dead. Four other shootings that left two others dead have since occurred in the growing neighborhood.
"This is just another example of too many guns and too many people willing to use them," Eddie Johnson, Chicago's police superintendent, said following Thursday night's shooting. "Somehow we need to stop this madness."
The data only covers shootings with victims, not incidents of shots fired.
Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), whose ward includes part of the South Loop and who spoke out in March after a mid-day shootout on South Michigan Avenue, downplayed the notion there's a rise in violent crime in the area in a conversation with DNAinfo Friday.
"People basically feel the area is safe, and every shooting where someone has been injured, the 1st District [police] have really done a terrific job figuring out what the situation has been and addressing it," Dowell said.
There were four South Loop shootings last year, and one person was killed. Before then, just one other person was shot and killed in the neighborhood tracing back to 2010, the data shows.
But some neighbors still are concerned.
"I don’t think residents, including those with children, understand how frequent the shootings [and shots fired] in the area have become," one South Loop resident wrote in an email to DNAinfo Friday sharing her concerns.
"I am also tired of the usual official response that does nothing to make anyone safer ('it’s an isolated incident,' 'the offender was someone from outside the neighborhood,' 'it was gang-related.')"
Here are the South Loop shootings reported so far in 2016:
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