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Chicago On Pace To Have Even More Murders Than In 2016 After Bloody July

By Kelly Bauer | August 1, 2017 10:20am
 Officers investigate at a Downtown shooting in July.
Officers investigate at a Downtown shooting in July.
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DNAinfo/David Matthews

DOWNTOWN — Shootings continue to fall while homicides have risen in 2017, with 75 people slain this July in Chicago.

The uptick means Chicago is on pace to see even more homicides this year than it did in 2016, when more than 750 people were killed.

Of the 75 people killed this July, at least 68 were shot to death. The numbers mark an increase from July 2016, when 66 people were killed — 61 of them in shootings.

In all, at least 410 people have been killed so far this year. By this point last year, 395 people had been killed.

But the number of non-fatal shootings have fallen from last year: There were 322 shootings that killed or wounded 415 people this July; during the same period last year, there were 360 shootings with 440 victims.

Police have credited investments in technology in the hard-hit Harrison and Englewood districts on the south and west sides for the drop in shootings this year. That technology has now been installed in other districts.

The districts created Strategic Decision Support Centers, where crime analysts, intelligence officers and analysts from the University of Chicago use data to help area officers with their work.

The districts received more phones for officers and ShotSpotter technology, which can listen for gunshots on streets so officers can respond more quickly. The districts also expanded their pod cameras, which can rotate automatically to record video of a spot where ShotSpotter detects gunfire.

The Police Department considers those upgrades a "pilot program" that it's viewing with "cautious optimism," Police Department spokesman Frank Giancamilli said earlier this year.

But experts have been largely unable to figure out why shootings and homicides remain higher than in years past.

Here's a look at some of July's violence:

At least 100 people were shot over Fourth of July weekend. Fifteen of those people were killed.

• On July 5, a 63-year-old man was found stabbed and beaten to death in his Washington Heights home.

• On July 11, a 40-year-old woman was shot and killed while sleeping in her Washington Park home.

• On July 14, 10-year-old Gustavo Garcia was shot to death while riding in a car with his stepfather.

• On July 18, Leroy Moore, 70, was shot to death while walking in Park Manor.

• On July 28, 28-year-old Nikia Betts was gunned down in Austin. Her 4-year-old son was wounded.

2017 Violence So Far:

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

• Shootings, Murders Rise In Chicago In February

• Shootings, Murders See Major Drop For 1st Time In More Than A Year

• Shootings Down To Date, But April Saw Uptick In Murders

• May Sees Chicago Shootings Fall — But 2017 Still More Violent Than Usual

• Even As Shootings Fall, Murders Remain High: 335 People Killed In 2017