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Murders Up 50 Percent In Chicago So Far Compared To Past Years

By Kelly Bauer | April 14, 2017 2:46pm
 A shrine for a murder victim is filled with stuffed animals and posters.
A shrine for a murder victim is filled with stuffed animals and posters.
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D. O'Malley

DOWNTOWN — The city is once again on pace to see more than 700 murders this year.

There have been 855 people killed or wounded in 682 shootings so far in 2017. The violence is significantly worse than what previous years saw: There were just 597 people killed or wounded in 506 shootings on average in 2012-2016 by this time of year.

There have also been significantly more murders in Chicago than average: There were 170 people killed Jan. 1-April 13, while there were an average of 112 murders over the same period 2012-2016.

And the start of this April has been particularly violent, with 25 murders April 1-13. That's a 79 percent increase from the average 14 murders the city saw over the same period 2012-2016.

There have been even more shootings and victims so far this April than in 2016, too.

Among the victims were Judge Raymond Myles, slain outside his home last week; two 12-year-old boys who were shot — but survived — in Old Town; and 24-year-old Byron McKinney Jr., who was among six men shot in Austin on April 7.

There have been some victories: March saw the city's first big drop in shootings and victims since 2016's surge, and though murders are up, fewer have been fewer shootings and people wounded so far this year than in 2016.

Police credited March's drop to changes in technology and strategies in areas hit hard by violence on the South and West sides. The decrease helped with officer morale, said spokesman Anthony Guglielmi at the time.

“While we may have lower numbers, we’re never going to be happy until there are no shootings and no murders,” Guglielmi said.