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78 People Dead After Bloodiest October By Far In Years

By Kelly Bauer | November 1, 2016 5:11pm
 Police investigate a fatal shooting in the 7900 block of South Vincennes Avenue.
Police investigate a fatal shooting in the 7900 block of South Vincennes Avenue.
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DNAinfo/Devlin Brown (File)

DOWNTOWN — This October was the most violent by far in years, ending with 78 people murdered — a 278 percent increase from last year.

Last October, there were about 28 murders, according to DNAinfo Chicago's data. But this month saw at least 78 people killed, said Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, and DNAinfo Chicago's data shows at least 64 of the people slain this month were killed in shootings.

In all, there were 353 shootings and 427 people who were killed or wounded in a shooting this October, Guglielmi said. In comparison, Chicago saw 190 shootings that killed 28 people and wounded 189 in October 2015, according to a DNAinfo Chicago analysis. 

Just over the final weekend of the month, when many were celebrating Halloween early, 17 people were gunned down and more than 50 others were wounded in shootings. Among those killed was a 14-year-old boy, Demarco Webster Jr., and 17-year-old twin brothers who were visiting their old neighborhood when they were shot to death.

Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, speaking at a police officer graduation ceremony Monday, said the weekend was "tough," but he contended the communities hardest hit by violence haven't been "shortchanged" by police because of events like the World Series at Wrigley Field. The Police Department plans to hire 970 officers.

"The communities that we typically see violence in, they didn't get shortchanged," he said. "We had adequate resources there. They [shooters] just don't care. I'm sick of it and I know the people in the communities are tired of it."

But October's violence followed a trend seen throughout this year: Shootings — and the number of people killed or wounded in them — have dramatically risen this year during almost every month.

Guglielmi said five police districts on the South Side and West Side are "responsible for the majority of the increase in violence" this year, noting that seven police districts had seen violence decrease or remain the same.

The city needs "better laws" that will keep illegal guns off the streets, Guglielmi said, and the criminal justice system needs to do more to hold responsible people convicted of gun crimes.

Professors and activists have said the neighborhoods hardest hit by violence don't need a police crackdown, and some have called on the city to provide residents with mental health services, educational opportunities and jobs.

The bloodshed has drawn eyes to Chicago from throughout the country, with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump comparing the city to a "war-torn country" during a debate in late September.

Here's a breakdown of the violence each month so far:

September: Chicago Shooting Victims Total Tops 3,100 So Far In 2016

August: Chicago Has Had More Murders Than New York And L.A. Combined This Year

JulyBloody July Sees Spike In Chicago Gun Violence As Shootings Up 45 Percent

June: 'An Orlando Every Month': Shootings Up 50 Percent In Chicago

May: Chicago's Violent May Rivals Bloody ’90s: ‘Our Community Is Under Siege’

April: With Nearly 1,100 Shot, Shooting Victims Up 75 Percent This Year

March: Shootings Up 80 Percent In Chicago This Year, Highest This Decade By Far

February: 187 Shot in Chicago in February, Nearly Triple Those Shot in February 2015

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

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