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This January Had As Many Shootings, Murders As Violent January 2016

By Kelly Bauer | February 1, 2017 8:44am
 Violence has not slowed down in Chicago, with this January proving to be about as bloody as last year's.
Violence has not slowed down in Chicago, with this January proving to be about as bloody as last year's.
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DNAinfo/Alex Nitkin

DOWNTOWN — Violence has not slowed down in Chicago, with this January proving to be about as bloody as last year's.

There were 245 shootings, which left 53 people dead and 254 wounded, this January. That's similar to January 2016, when 249 shootings killed 55 people and wounded 250. That violent month kicked off a year-long surge in violence that saw 2016 become the deadliest in decades for Chicago.

Murders are on pace with last year's, too: There were 57 murders in Chicago this month and 57 in January 2016.

While the violence is in step with what Chicago experienced over the same period last year, it's significantly worse than it was in previous years.

Here's a look at January gun violence since 2010:

Earlier this month, Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said the violence was "about the same" as that of 2016. All of last year saw more than 740 people murders and more than 4,200 people either killed or wounded in shootings.

The city's violence has drawn national attention, with Donald Trump likening Chicago to a "war-torn country" during his campaign and threatening to "send in the Feds!" last week.

Officials are upgrading technology in hopes it can prevent violence in the hardest-hit neighborhoods. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pushed for better relations between community members and police and funding to mentoring programs that can keep young people from becoming caught up in gangs and violence.

Activists and experts have said communities of color have faced disinvestment or hardships that have led to the rise in shootings. Violence-plagued neighborhoods need investment, they've said, and residents need access to mental health resources to stop the shootings.

At the same time, a U.S. Justice Department probe found a lack of police accountability in Chicago leads to a "deadly cycle" of violence.

Here's a look at some of the violence from this January:

• On Jan. 25, seven people were shot and wounded at a candlelight vigil for a woman who had been shot dead just days earlier. The slain woman's mother was among those who was wounded in the vigil shooting.

• On Jan. 21, 27-year-old Natalia Ramirez was shot dead in Brighton Park. She had two sons.

• On Jan. 3, brothers Simmieon and Simmie McGruder were shot and killed in Garfield Park.